State of the Internet: What are the fastest cities in the world

This is a guest post by Shirley Jones. If you are interested to guest post in this blog, just head over to the Guest Post Guidelines.


In the UK, the average internet connection speed is currently around 5mb per second, easily a hundred times faster than average internet speeds a decade ago and it is still on the increase. In Sweden, attempts have recently been made to break the internet speed record and achieve speeds of 120 GB per second. To put this in perspective, that is nearly three million times the rate that the 56kb modem would have been able to achieve, just a decade ago.

A little history

With technology developing at such an exponential rate, it is unsurprising to see the vast increase in the average download and upload rates from various internet service providers across the globe. Just 10 years ago, household internet connections in the UK were mostly served by 56kb modems or ‘dial up’ connections which could reach only a fraction of the internet speeds that we all expect today. One of the many constraints with earlier modems is that they had a very high latency which is the time taken to communicate with the server. This averaged around 200ms compared with modern modems and broadband which achieve closer to 20ms.

Clearly the older hardware rendered activities such as online gaming difficult at best. Problems with online gaming in the past included game lag or frequent disconnection, making the game all but unplayable. However, pioneering game developers persevered and online games that were created at the dawn of home internet connections such as the Sims online and Star Wars: Galaxies were able to run on 56kb connections.

Countries with the Fastest Internet Service Providers

If you think of countries known predominantly for their breakthrough technology and visionary concepts, you will inherently answer the question as to which country has the fastest average internet service providers in the world. Japan and South Korea currently enjoy some of the fastest average internet speeds on the planet at an average of over 14mb per second. This is over 1500kb per second which is over three hundred times faster than the original 56kb modems. The top ten average internet connection speeds are found in cities located within Japan and Korea, the fastest three being Tokai, Shimotsuma and Kanagawa.

Following the Japanese and Koreans in the race for the fastest internet access are many European countries, including Nokia’s homeland of Finland, together with Sweden and France, all of which have average speeds of just under 10mb per second. Asia accounts for two-thirds of the fastest cities with 61 of the top 100 being in Japan, 18 cities from the US and a mere dozen cities across Europe.

The future of the internet

As these statistics may suggest, we can expect a continual improvement in internet speeds in the future. With the increasing demand for high volume data including multi-media streaming, commensurate increases in speed will be essential. Clearly the roll-out of new technologies will be far from uniform across the globe, in no small part because of economic limitations. Ultimately, a combination of high bandwidth fibre optic networks, ever improving wireless network coverage, improving collaboration between ISPs and other providers and ever evolving hardware should ensure that the infrastructure rises to the challenge.

To put progress into context, 10 years ago, a feature length movie would have taken days, if not weeks to download. The same movie is now accessible within a matter of minutes.


About the Author: Shirley Jones is a freelance content writer and she writes articles and blogs on Internet service providers and other internet service related technologies.

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