Cloud storage and performance-boosting provider Akamai has published its State of the Internet report for the fourth quarter of 2010 (registration required), including year-on-year results comparing 2010 to 2009. Among the report’s highlights: average Internet connection speed increased in 162 countries year-on-year, with the United States seeing a 9.2 percent year-on-year improvement in average measured connection speed. Akamai also saw sharp increases in mobile data traffic consumption, with peak connection speeds more than doubling at over 30 mobile providers worldwide, and some 96 mobile operators around the world showing year-on-year connection speed increases.
Worldwide, the average Internet connection speed measured by Akamai was 1.9 Mbps, an increase of 6.7 percent from a year ago. However, within that figure are massive variations. South Korea has the highest average measured connection speed of 13.7 Mbps, a year-on-year improvement of 11 percent. The slowest measured country was Mayotte—an archipelago northwest of Madagascar—which showed narrowband adoption (speeds below 256Kbps) for 98 to 99 percent of its Internet users. Overall, some 60 countries and regions around the world showed narrowband adoption levels below the global average of 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2010, the United States ranked 14th in the world in terms of average connection speed of 5.1 Mbps; after South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Romania,p and the Netherlands rounded out the top five.
Akamai did see some significant changes in “attack traffic,” meaning countries and regions where port probes, malware attacks, viruses, and other online attacks originate. Russia jumped to the number one position during the fourth quarter of 2010, accounting for 10 percent of attach traffic worldwide. Surprisingly, the United States dropped from second place to fifth place, accounting for 7.3 percent of attack traffic in the quarter. And the top country for attack traffic originating from mobile providers was Italy, with over 30 percent of observed mobile attack traffic in the quarter.