Asian countries home to fastest internet connections

Hong Kong has retained its status as a high-speed internet hub in the latest study.

As the globe heads into a technology age, many countries are placing a larger emphasis on technology to build larger economies and stronger societies. So its no surprise that many governments are investing resources in this sector to achieve ultra fast internet speeds.

According to research firm Akamai Technologies, Hong Kong led the way with the fastest internet connection of 65.4 Mbps beating its closest competitor South Korea by 1.8 Mbps. Veterans Japan and Singapore came in at third and fourth respectively, clocking an average of over 50 Mbps each. The island nation of Taiwan came eighth on the list, becoming the 5th Asian nation to rank in the top 10.

The availability of high-speed internet could be a huge economic bonus for nations, according to ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure, amid a growing reliance on technology in the 21st century.

"Internet – and particularly broadband Internet – has become a key tool for social and economic development, and needs to be prioritized, even in the world’s poorest nations."

Surprisingly, Israel came in at fifth place in the ranking, due to a whopping 55 percent improvement compared to 2012. The rest of the top 10 included European countries such as Latvia, the Netherlands and Belgium. The U.S narrowly missed out on the top 10, placing 13th.

Despite America's huge landmass, the country ranks an impressive 13th on the list.

The Akamai study shows a consistent improvement across all Asia-Pacific regions, whose nations improved by 12 percent compared to the previous year. Generally, smaller nations such as South Korea and Israel fared well due to ease of connecting its residents to fiber optic cables, resulting in a faster connection. Larger nations such as Indonesia did not rank well, suffering a 30 percent decrease year-over-year to 9.7 megabits per second, putting the country at 115th on the list. India and China also missed out on the top 100 list, recording 9 and 11.3Mbps respectively. 

The top ten rankings are as follows:

  1. Hong Kong, 65.4 Mbps
  2. South Korea, 63.6 Mbps
  3. Japan, 52 Mbps
  4. Singapore, 50.1 Mbps
  5. Israel, 47.7 Mbps
  6. Romania, 45.4 Mbps
  7. Latvia, 43.1 Mbps
  8. Taiwan, 42.7 Mbps
  9. Netherlands, 39.6 Mbps
  10. Belgium, 38.5 Mbps

Source: Bloomberg | Fast Internet BrowsingNorth America Concept via Shuttershock

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36 Comments

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I'm paying $39 a month for a 3 Mb connection, so ridiculous. It's not an infrastructure problem for me, we've had fiber here for years now. It's a "small rural phone company/ISP who has a monopoly over the entire region and can charge whatever they feel like" problem.

i live in bulgaria and have 7.5 MB/s and i pay $10 a month
about an year ago i had 12MB/s and i used to pay $13 a month

12MB/s is apparently 96mbps

Asia, #1 everywhere! As a Canadian stuck with an OVERPRICED 25Mbps/10Mbps cable connection, I'm jealous (First world problem)

I blame territory size (Canada is a huge country, with few people), but I have some doubts on our Canadian ISPs too... I can't prove it, but I think they fix prices

Canada stinks for all that kind of stuff. I have been up there a few times and my friends pay an exuberant amount of money for an 1/8 of the services I get in the states. I guess it's all about supply and demand.

myxomatosis said,
....

I have 100Mbit fiber in Saskatchewan.

200Mbit is available, as is 100Mbit cable from various operators.

I guess having a goverment owned telecommunications company trailblazing to keep the private companies building out infrastructure is better than letting the 'free market' do it on their own.

Well, not all of those countries are quite small.
Also, depending on who made this top, some countries may change places.

I don't know in asia but in eastern europe they have an other advantage - their networks are quite new, so they have created from start a modern infrastructure, based mostly on the "Cable" TV one.
I've put the "" because actually we use optical fiber including for TV. Also local competition is very strong.

In Romania as example I can have an 1 Gb connection for about 11 euros + VAT - so the price is good too. I just not need so much speed.

problem in the usa is that no one wants to pay for the lines to go the distance.

live in a city and want highspeed, no problem.

in the country? maybe dsl connection

dsbig said,
...

Once my ISP gets Voice over LTE implemented, they will replace all rural land lines in Saskatchewan, Canada with Fixed Point LTE technologies.

This will enable those customers to recieve ~30Mbit internet connections as well.

The smaller the country, the easier it is to deploy these types of speeds. On top of that, some of these are probably state/governement run, so there isn't this issue with several ISPs and market coverage to deal with.

This is all hardly a surprise and expected honestly.

Umm.. Are the values stated in the right scaling? Mbps is megabits per second, and Virgin Media in the UK currently offer 120Mbps... If you mean megaBYTE per second, it should be written as MBps or MB/s. The capitalisation is kinda important..

I know this is per nation rather than per provider, but I'd have thought Virgin's high speeds would push the UK a fair bit further up the list...

You do realise that virgin's cable coverage is less than 50% of England and of that percentage, an even smaller percentage of people pay for 120mbps? Add on top of that, inside those coverage areas, not everyone uses cable to start with.

Also, on top of that, they stopped expanding their network coverage years ago to focus on improving their existing network. (There's been no cable network expansion since NTL)

I'd use Virgin cable if I could but I don't expect that it will be an option where I currently live any time soon, if ever.

Here's a map of cable coverage in the UK
http://maps.thinkbroadband.com...=terrain&cable-coverage

Yeah, I'd assume this is the average speed across the plans in the country. I'm on 200Mb/s up and down in Singapore. We have 1000Mb down 500Mb up plans also, relatively cheap.

Let's not forget that the UK is very rural in many areas, and in many of those areas, there are some that don't even have broadband speeds!

FloatingFatMan said,
Umm.. Are the values stated in the right scaling? Mbps is megabits per second, and Virgin Media in the UK currently offer 120Mbps... If you mean megaBYTE per second, it should be written as MBps or MB/s. The capitalisation is kinda important..

Where do you think the article is confusing Mbps and MBps?

Xenosion said,

Where do you think the article is confusing Mbps and MBps?

Nowhere specifically, it's just the values looked rather low to me is all, hence my asking. No biggie.

FloatingFatMan said,

Nowhere specifically, it's just the values looked rather low to me is all, hence my asking. No biggie.


I'm surprised too looking at averages per US state. I would have thought the density of New York City would overshadow the rural areas of the state but apparently the state is just just too big for NYC to make up for. Even in these comparisons, the small states win.

Lack of competition is correct I would say; I lived in Bulgaria for 6 years, and in Sofia my Internet speed was 100 mbit/s and in Plovdiv I had to slow down to 70 mbit/s. In Sofia I paid 20 leva a month (about $US15) and in Plovdiv (with Fibre Optic cable) it was 35 leva (or around $US26). There were so many providers it wasn't funny!

Lack of competition and expensive service is why the US is behind other countries. There is not motivation here to bring high speed to most homes.

Yea, i'd like to see a speed vs cost to the person, or maybe a $ per Mbps or something. i have no idea how expensive it is in other countries vs the US

And look at the area (or lack thereof), even compared to most European countries - let alone the United States, for the top five. Most of those countries - even in Europe - are not the size of any of the top ten (by area) US states; further, even Switzerland (tenth), has that connection speed over what percentage of the nation's area? That is also why Verizon's FTTP deployment is still one of the largest - if not the largest - to date, even though it never got to cover their entire even post-divestiture-to-Frontier footprint. Lack of size matters - especially for fiber.

So split up the US in separate states when doing these tests, let's see if any of them will make the top 10 list individually.

Yes, though it is easier to do it in a small country, it still takes planning and foresight. My girlfriends from Latvia (7th on the list) and I've spent a lot of time there. Her sister was living in a block of flats, as many people do in Riga, when I tested her broadband I was getting 200Mbps download and 100Mbps upload which cost ~$15 a month, though if you make over $400 a month that's considered a good wage.