Australian broadband sees steady improvement as Asia races ahead

Akamai's latest State of the Internet report for Q3 2013 shows Australia's average connection speed slowly picking up, as South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong continue to race ahead.

Australia can, for the first time, lay claim to an average connection speed above 5Mbps to Akamai servers, the company has said in the latest instalment of its State of the Internet report.

While Australia clocked in at 5.5Mbps, a 13 percent increase for the quarter and a 28 percent increase on the 4.3Mbps figure for Q3 2012, the nation remained entrenched in the 40s range in the global ranking — up two places to 43rd this quarter, but down from last year's 40th ranking.

Maintaining a lock on the top three global places were South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong.

South Korea led with an average connection speed of 22.1Mbps and experienced quarter-on-quarter growth of 66 percent, thanks to a deal signed between Akamai and Korean teleco KT. Japan was next, with 13.3Mbps, and Hong Kong followed, on 12.5Mbps.

For average peak connection speeds, the same east Asian trio claimed the top three places globally. Hong Kong came out on top, with 65.4Mbps, South Korea was close behind, with 63.6Mbps, and Japan closed out the top three, on 52Mbps.

Australia took out 30th place in the global rankings for average peak connection speed, coming in with 30.1Mbps. This was up 32 percent on Q3 2012's 22.8Mbps figure, and almost double the 16.2Mbps reported for the same time period in 2011.

Despite being able to boast of a more mature national broadband network than Australia, New Zealand was only able to boast of an average connection speed of 5.1Mbps, and an average peak speed of 20.5Mbps. The Kiwis are able to claim greater penetration for connectivity over 4Mbps than Australia, with New Zealand recording yearly growth of 56 percent to take its total to 54 percent, while Australia could only manage 51 percent. South Korea claimed top spot again, with 93 percent of connections to Akamai above 4Mbps.

But for connectivity above 10Mbps, New Zealand once again fell behind Australia. South Korea led the globe, with 70 percent of connections above 10Mbps, Japan came in second, with 49 percent, Australia claimed 37th place, with 8.1 percent, and New Zealand was in 38th place, with 6.2 percent.

Large yearly growth rates for connectivity above 10Mbps were seen across Asia-Pacific. Taiwain saw yearly growth of 340 percent, Thailand was close behind on 330 percent, Singapore grew 190 percent, New Zealand saw 164 percent growth, and Australia garnered annual growth of 96 percent. China can lay claim to an yearly growth rate of 544 percent, but that only took the penetration of connections above 10Mbps to 1.1 percent, up from 0.2 percent last year.

At the rear of the global rankings, India reported figures of 1.4Mbps for average connection speed, 9Mbps for average peak speed, and only 0.3 percent for connectivity above 10Mbps. Indonesia claimed numbers with 1.5Mbps for average connection speed, 9.7Mbps for average peak speed, and connectivity above 4Mbps fell by 44 percent since last quarter to 1.8 percent penetration.