Speed check: Akamai’s latest report shows internet access is speeding up worldwide

24 Jul 2013

Image via Toria/Shutterstock

Akamai’s State of the Internet Report for the first quarter of 2013 shows encouraging internet and broadband adoption across the globe, but also highlights an increase in attack traffic from certain regions.

Akamai Technologies is an enterprise cloud platform and bases its quarterly report on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, providing insight into global internet connectivity, connection speeds, attack traffic, and broadband adoption and availability.

“This quarter’s State of the Internet Report shows continued positive growth in terms of internet and broadband adoption worldwide,” said David Belson, editor of the report. “We have seen overall increases in average and peak connection speeds along with greater broadband penetration on both a quarterly and annual basis.

“However, the levels of malicious activity we’ve observed show no signs of abating, as evidenced by the ongoing rise in DDoS attacks,” he added. “This reinforces the continued need for vigilance by organisations that are conducting business and maintaining a presence on the internet.”

Hong Kong retains fastest internet connection

Globally, more and more users are accessing the internet, with Akamai estimating the total number of unique web users connecting to its platform during the first quarter of 2013 at well over 1bn.

In comparison with the previous quarter, average internet connection speeds worldwide rose 4pc to 3.1Mbps. This represents a hike of 17pc year-on-year with 123 countries seeing an increase, ranging from just 1.4pc in Oman to an impressive 122pc in Iraq.

Global average peak connection speeds reached 18.4Mbps, an increase of 9.2pc on the previous quarter and 36pc year-on-year. Once again, Hong Kong claims the top spot, with peak connection speeds reaching 63.6Mbps.

Broadband improvements worldwide

Broadband adoption has reached 46pc worldwide, while ‘high broadband’ of over 10Mbps has reached 13pc – a 10pc increase on the previous quarter.

For mobile connectivity, average connection speeds ranged from a high of 8.6Mbps to a low of 0.4Mbps. While nine operators reached average speeds of over 4Mbps (the broadband range), 64 lagged behind with average speeds over 1Mbps.

Attack traffic rising

Of 177 regions from which Akamai detected attack traffic in Q1 2013, China emerged as the single-largest volume source with 34pc, though this was down from 41pc in the previous quarter.

Indonesia, on the other hand, is rising up the attack traffic charts, taking second place with 21pc. Last quarter, it accounted for just 0.7pc. The recent rise knocked the US into third position with 8.3pc, down from 10pc.

More than 80pc of the attack traffic observed originated from the top 10 countries, and China and Indonesia account for more than half.

However, Akamai’s report reminds us that the source IP address may not represent the attacker’s place of residence, as attacks can be launched from compromised systems anywhere in the world.

Akamai also documented 208 DDoS attacks in the period, reported by 154 different organisations. Of these, 35pc targeted enterprise, 32pc targeted commerce, 22pc hit the media, 7pc were high-tech companies and 4pc targeted the public sector.

Global internet image via Toria/Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic