A global study of average measured broadband connection speeds by Akamai for the fourth quarter of 2012 has shown that although Ireland ranked a respectable 15th out of 98 countries in terms of broadband speeds, it was one of the few countries to see speed levels fall year-on-year.
The Akamai ‘State of the Internet’ study ranked South Korea as having the highest average measured connection speed by country of a sustained 14Mbps, which was down 13pc year-on-year. This was followed by Japan with 10.8Mbps, Hong Kong with 9.3Mbps and Latvia with 8.9Mbps (up 20pc).
Among Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region countries, Switzerland boasted the highest average measured connection speed of 8.7Mbps (up 20pc), narrowly edging out the Netherlands, which had 8.6Mbps (up 3.3pc), the Czech Republic, which had 8.1Mbps (up 21pc), and Sweden with 7.3Mbps (up 29pc).
Ireland ranked 15th globally and 9th within EMEA, with average measured connection speeds of 6.6Mbps, down 6.8pc year-on-year.
Global average connection speeds rebounded in the fourth quarter of 2012, posting a 5pc gain growing to 2.9Mbps. Year-on-year, the global average connection speed grew by a healthy 25pc.
In terms of peak connection speeds – Ireland ranks 23rd out of 98 countries
The global average peak connection speeds – the maximum speed rates enjoyed by countries – increased to an average peak of 16.6Mbps.
Hong Kong enjoyed the fastest peak speeds of 57.5Mbps, followed by South Korea with 49.3Mbps and Japan with 44.8Mbps.
Within EMEA, Romania enjoyed the highest peak connection speeds of 42.6Mbps (up 20pc), followed by Switzerland with 34.1Mbps (up 33pc), and Belgium with 33.4Mbps (up 21pc).
Ireland was ranked 23rd globally for peak connection speeds and 14th within Europe, with a peak connection speed of 27Mbps recorded by Akamai in the fourth quarter, up 12pc year-on-year.
Ireland’s closest neighbour, the UK, achieved peak connection speeds of 30.5Mbps, up 44pc year-on-year. The UK had a global peak speed ranking of 15th in the world.
The Akamai report had a number of other revelations, including the discovery that distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks had tripled during 2012, with as many as 768 DDOS attack being recorded.
But perhaps the most interesting is the emergence of new spheres of influence in the technology world.
It pointed to the emergence of a Silicon Savannah the African country of Kenya and quoted a Guardian article: “If there is such a thing as an African version of California’s Silicon Valley, the country that is arguably leading the race to the future is Kenya … Household tech names such as Google, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia and Vodafone all have a presence there and IBM recently chose Nairobi for its first African research lab.”
In Kenya, the government plans to build a US$7bn 5,000-acre technology city that has already been branded Africa’s Silicon Savannah.