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The State of the Internet - a global perspective

Let's shoot to Mars for a second. On our journey, we see the continents decreasing in size and pass numerous satellites floating about in orbit. From here we get the perceptive we need to see the world in its totality. It’s a highly sophisticated planet, full of promise and technological advances. We know that although the continents appear separate they are actually entirely interconnected, with communication and news sharing happening simultaneously with people at polar ends of the planet. We know this phenomenon as the internet.  This communication enablement platform, the World Wide Web, has projected our world into a thriving, intelligent and forever evolving global society, better still it is only looking to strengthen.

Akamai’s ‘State of the Internet’ Q1 2015 reports the number of global internet users has more than doubled in the last 7 years to an estimated 3.2 billion in 2015. Moreover, Cisco noted that the number of Internet-connected devices first outnumbered the human population way back in 2008 and that now there is an estimated two networked devices per capita, with the prediction it will be up to three per capita by 2019. Not only is global uptake advancing but so is the internet’s performance. On a global basis, the average connection speed increased a sizeable 30 percent year over year. Additionally, the global average connection speed increased 10 percent to 5 Mbps and the global 15 Mbps adoption rate has grown 29 percent.  

However, when we take a deeper look, not all countries can be viewed as equal when it comes to internet progression. Fiji for example experienced hugely impressive growth rates rising 181% in average connection speed from 2014. Whereas Réunion experienced 72% decline (to 3.5 Mbps) from the previous year. Overall however, increases were seen in 134 countries, with yearly declines only seen in just 9 countries/regions, supporting the global trend of overall improving internet performance.  

 

When we review Australia, China, US & UK in the Akamai’s timeline graph above we can see that although there is a general improvement trend, China is rather behind. Their economy might be booming, however their connection internet speeds are lagging behind the other significant players. US & UK have advanced at a very impressive rate managing to remain close competitors for the duration of the past 7 years. Australia was in their ball park performance up until 2012, where the UK and US powered ahead and managed to increase the gap between Australia.  

Now we are back on earth using the internet to read this on our computer screens, and can reflect on what we just discovered. There is a global trend of improved internet performance, internet utilisation is only predicted to enhance and lastly, not all countries are equal in the eyes of internet – some are significantly out performing others.

So as we keep advancing with connectively on global scale, one can only imagine what incredible developments are still in store.  

Seen many of our internet-based innovations lately? Check out our 'Virtual Fax' feature here

 

Source: akamai (2015). Akamai’s State of the internet' Q1 2015 report, from http://www.stateoftheinternet.com/index.html

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