Year after year, Internet bandwidth connection speeds continue to grow. The newly released second quarter 2013 State of the Internet report from Akamai shows that for the first time ever, more than half of all connections were 4 Mbps or faster.
David Belson, author of the State of the Internet report, is not particularly surprised at the new milestone.
"While we never forecasted a specific date/quarter as to when this threshold would be crossed, we’ve seen steady increases in broadband adoption rates over the years, so reaching this point was inevitable," Belson told Enterprise Networking Planet.
The overall global average peak connection speed reached 18.9 Mbps during the quarter, a 17 percent year-over-year gain.
As to why Internet speeds keep on improving, Belson said that in his view, both availability and cost contribute.
"In some cases, competitive pressures are driving providers to upgrade the speeds available through existing service tiers, making higher speed connections available to existing subscribers," Belson said. "In other cases, providers are making high speed connectivity available at a reasonable price."
One such example is Google Fiber, which is placing competitive pressure on incumbent providers in service areas that it is entering.
In the U.S., the fastest region, as measured by average peak connection speed, is the District of Columbia. DC comes in at 49.6 Mbps, a 32 percent year-over-year gain. New Jersey came in second with average peak connection speeds of 46.4 Mbps, for a 37 percent year-over-year gain. Massachusetts rounds out the U.S. top three with an average peak connection speed of 46.1 Mbps, a 43 percent year-over-year gain.
The average peak connect speed for the U.S. as a whole came in at 36.3 Mpbs, which puts the U.S. in the number 16 spot in the world. Hong Kong took the number one spot, with an average peak connection speed during the quarter of 65.1 Mbps.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist