The second quarter 2012 Akamai State of the Internet report found that global average connection speeds grew 13 percent in the second quarter, to 3.0 Mbps. The Global average peak connection speed is growing even faster coming in at 16. Mbps for a 19 percent year over year gain.
The U.S is still not the leader in speed, but it is still growing. South Korea, a country that has dominated Akamai's speed ratings, once again had the highest average connection speed. During the second quarter, the average speed in South Korea was 14.2 Mbps
In contrast, the average connection speed in the United States is less than half, coming in at 6.6 Mbps. The U.S second quarter average connection speed however is a 16 percent year over year gain, and good enough to rank the U.S. the 9th best in the world.
In terms of the highest average peak connection speed, Hong Kong tops the list at 49.2 Mbps. In contrast, the highest average peak in the U.S. is 27.1 Mbps, which is a 24 percent year of year again. The U.S. now ranks 13th in the work for highest average peak connection speed.
The best showing for the U.S. comes in Akamai's rankings for High Broadband adoption. Akamai defines high-broadband as being connection speeds of 10 Mbps or higher. In the second quarter of 2012, 16 percent of all U.S. connections were in the high broadband category which is a 76 percent year over year gain. The U.S. currently ranks 7th in the category.
The overall numbers are not a surprise to report author, David Belson. Belson told InternetNews that there were no significant surprises of note.
"While I’d always like to see all of the metrics increase from quarter-to-quarter, the quarterly fluctuations are largely expected, and when we look at the trends over the long-term, they are generally positive, showing that connectivity continues to improve," Belson said.
One area that is also accelerating rapidly is IPv6 usage. There was a 460 times increase in IPv6 request across the Akamai network over the course of the last year.
"From our perspective, we;ve seen growth in IPv6 traffic from leading social network Web sites, as well as US government sites – the latter largely owning to the September 30 mandate for public-facing sites to be IPv6 enabled," Belson said.
He added that while IPv4 address space remains available, but has become harder to obtain in large blocks in some regions.
"Akamai continues to work with local network providers, as well as the RIRs (and the processes and requirements that they have put into place) to obtain the IPv4 address space that we need for continued expansion of our platform," Belson said. " At this time, I don’t think that there has been a significant impact on Akamai, though our forward-looking planning does consider IPv4 exhaustion scenarios."