Global average internet speeds grow to 4.5 Mbps: Akamai

The firm's State of the Internet report found average connection speeds rose 20 percent annually. However, due to the FCC's change in broadband definition, Akamai will rethink the report going forward.

The global average internet connection speed rose 20 percent year-over-year to 4.5 Mbps, according to the latest State of the Internet report from Akamai.

The cloud service provider, which publishes its internet report quarterly, found that average connection speeds saw an annual increase in 132 countries, although the size of the increases varied. For instance, while Morocco saw its connection speed increase 0.3 percent to 2.4 Mbps, speeds in Congo rose 146 percent to 1.3 Mbps.

The report shows that eight of the top 10 countries experienced double-digit growth annually, but just six grew percentages quarterly. Just 10 countries experienced a decline in average connection speeds year-over-year.

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The global broadband adoption rate, defined by Akamai as greater than 4 Mbps, decreased slightly in Q4, falling 0.4 percent to 59 percent adoption. Bulgaria had the highest level of broadband adoption in the fourth quarter at 96 percent, just edging out last quarter's leader South Korea, which saw penetration rate go down 0.1 percent.

Global high broadband, which Akamai defines as greater than 10 Mbps, increased 2.9 percent during the quarter to reach a penetration rate of 24 percent. South Korea's 79 percent high broadband adoption rate remained ahead of second-place Hong Kong, which saw a 60 percent adoption rate.

In January, the US Federal Communications Commission redefined the qualification for broadband from 4 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up to 25 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up. As a result, Akamai said it will reconsider how it formulates the report going forward.

"Although the United States is just one country of many around the world working to improve Internet connectivity, in light of this update we will be reviewing how we define the metrics included in the report, as well how we present the data in future issues," David Belson, editor of Akamai's State of the Internet Report, said in a statement.

You can read the full report below:

State of the Internet Report Q4 2014

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