Skip to main content

U.S. slowly catching up with the rest of the world’s data speeds, study says

akamai survey q1 2017 crowd on internet browsing laptop mobile tablet app device
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Content delivery network Akamai has published its quarterly “State of the Internet” report for the first quarter of 2017 and while the United States still lags in predictable categories like data speed, it has also made some satisfying gains.

First, the good news. The U.S. leads the world in internet penetration and quite handily at that. Akamai identified more than 142 million unique IP addresses connecting to its servers in the U.S., with the next closest nation being China at 116 million. Keep in mind recent census data places China’s population at roughly four times the size of the United States. Next is Brazil, at 47 million, followed by Japan at 46 million.

So the U.S. is doing pretty well in terms of getting people connected, but what about the quality of the service? Unsurprisingly, the country still lags in average speed. Akamai reports that most Americans average 18Mbps downloads via broadband, which is barely good enough to make the world’s top 10. The other nine regions ahead of the U.S. all manage above 20Mbps, with South Korea leading the planet at 28.6 percent.

There is a silver lining to that news, though, because this is the highest the U.S. has ever placed in Akamai’s survey. While nearly every other country in the top 10 saw speeds increase or decrease by a few percentage points, the States saw the second most positive quarter-over-quarter change, at 8.8 percent. What is more, broadband speeds have increased 22 percent over the past year, an impressive feat.

Unfortunately, however, the country’s strides in home internet are not being matched in the mobile space. Users in the U.S. manage an average of 10.7Mbps on their phones, which is good enough to lead North and South America. However, it greatly pales in comparison to the rest of the world, especially Europe.

When it comes to mobile, nobody beats the U.K., at a blazing 26Mbps. Users in Germany and Finland also can claim impressive results, at 24 and 21Mbps, respectively. A third of Asian Pacific countries and a handful or Middle Eastern nations are faster as well, though by much less significant margins.

Akamai places the global mobile average at 7.2Mbps — 15 percent quicker than last year’s findings. For more details, you can check out the full report here.

Editors' Recommendations

Adam Ismail
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Adam’s obsession with tech began at a young age, with a Sega Dreamcast – and he’s been hooked ever since. Previously…
Microsoft calls out U.S. government for bad mapping of broadband data access
comcast fastest internet false advertising att airgig multi gigabit microwaves

As homes across the United States becomes ever so more connected via tablets, laptops and smart devices, access to fast broadband internet has become a big issue. The FCC currently maintains that only 25 million Americans don't have access to broadband internet, but Microsoft is now challenging the number. The company is claiming that more than half of the U.S. population -- or 162.8 million people -- do not use the internet at the broadband speed of 25 Mbps.

According to Microsoft, the discrepancy between its own anonymized data and the FCC data is due to ways that the FCC collects data for broadband mapping. First, Microsoft claims that the form 477 sent by ISPs to the FCC to help collect broadband data is too broad. A simple "yes" answer to the "providing or could … without an extraordinary commitment of resources provide broadband service to an area" question on the form is used to indicate if an area of the U.S. is covered by broadband internet. Second, Microsoft holds that the FCC's data on broadband access is not location specific. For instance, if one person has access to broadband, the entire block is counted as having service.

Read more
This Lenovo gaming laptop with an RTX 4050 is 31% off right now
The Lenovo Slim 5i facing forward.

One of the better gaming laptop deals for the holiday season comes from Lenovo. Today, you can buy the Lenovo Slim 5i Gen 8 gaming laptop for $931 meaning you save $419 off the regular price of $1,350. That's 31% off. Granted, Lenovo's estimated value prices tend to be a little higher than average, so the discount may be slightly smaller if real MSRP is taken into account. Even still, $931 for a gaming laptop with these specs is pretty special. Here’s what else you need to know about it before you buy.

Why you should buy the Lenovo Slim 5i
As one of the best laptop brands, Lenovo has a particular talent for making great gaming laptops. This model has a 13th-generation Intel Core i5 processor along with 16GB of memory and 512GB of SSD storage. It also has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics card which is well paired with its 16-inch WUXGA screen. The screen offers a resolution of 1920 x 1200, 45% NTSC, 300 nits of brightness, and a refresh rate of 144Hz so it’s perfect for this kind of spec.

Read more
This Samsung 32-inch 4K gaming monitor is 30% off for the holidays
The front view of the Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 4K curved gaming monitor.

Is your gaming setup still stuck with an old screen? If you've just upgraded with gaming PC deals, then you should maximize your machine's capabilities by investing in a gaming monitor like the 32-inch Samsung Odyssey Neo G7. Making this curved gaming monitor an even better buy is Samsung's $400 discount that brings its price down to $900 from $1,300. It's still not cheap, but it's the display that you need to fully appreciate the graphics of modern video games. You're going to have to hurry though, as stock may run out quickly for the holiday season.

Why you should buy the 32-inch Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 4K curved gaming monitor
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 4K curved gaming monitor delivers exceptional image quality, which is actually something that you'd expect from a screen that's made by one of the best TV brands. With 4K Ultra HD resolution, you'll enjoy lifelike details on the best PC games, and with a refresh rate of up to 165Hz, gameplay will be seamless with smooth movements. The 1000R curvature on the gaming monitor's 32-inch screen mimics the curve of the human eye so it fills your peripheral vision, and its support for AMD's FreeSync Premium Pro will further improve immersion by eliminating screen tearing and stuttering.

Read more