"This quarter's report shows great year-over-year growth in average connection speeds and overall broadband adoption," said David Belson, editor of the report. "This is particularly important as consumer expectations rise and many high-profile events, like the [Olympic] summer games in Rio, will be streamed this year. The progress we're seeing across our key metrics shows that, while there's still work to be done, more parts of the world are increasingly able to support the delivery of broadcast-quality video content online."
Among the findings:
Global average connection speeds and broadband connectivity
- Global average connection speed increased 8.6% to 5.6 Mbps from the third quarter, a 23% increase year-over-year.
- South Korea had the top average connection speed at 26.7 Mbps, posting a 20% increase over the fourth quarter of 2014.
- After a slight decline in the third quarter, the global average peak connection speed bounced back with a 1% increase to 32.5 Mbps in the fourth quarter. This led to 21% year-over-year growth.
- South Korea (95.3 Mbps) and Macao (83.1 Mbps) were the only country/regions to post double-digit quarterly gains in average peak connection speed at 10% and 13%, respectively.
- Globally, 7.1% of unique IP addresses connected to Akamai at average speeds of at least 25 Mbps, a 37% increase over the previous quarter. Year-over-year, global 25 Mbps adoption increased by 74%, in contrast to the 15% yearly decrease seen in the third quarter.
- Each of the top 10 countries/regions saw double-digit growth in 25 Mbps broadband adoption except for Hong Kong (15%), which posted a 9.8% change quarter-over-quarter. Norway (21%) and Denmark (15%) saw the greatest yearly gains at 165% and 188%, respectively.
- In the United States, 10 states had 14% or more of unique IP addresses connected to Akamai at average speeds of at least 25 Mbps, with the District of Columbia holding the top spot at 25% adoption, a 15% quarter-over-quarter growth.
- The global percentage of unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai that met the 4 Mbps broadband speed threshold increased 5.8% to 69%. Year-over-year growth was 17%.
- In the fourth quarter of 2015, 32% of unique IP addresses across the world connected to Akamai at average speeds above 10 Mbps, an increase of 15% over the previous quarter. Year-over-year, this was a 34% increase.
- 19% percent of unique global IP addresses connected to Akamai at average "4K-ready" connection speeds of 15 Mbps or above, up from 15% in the third quarter. Year-over-year, the global 15 Mbps adoption rate grew 54% with nine of the top 10 countries/regions seeing gains ranging from 3.3% in South Korea (63% adoption) to 102% in Norway (45% adoption).
IPv4 and IPv6
- The number of unique, worldwide IPv4 addresses connecting to Akamai had a slight increase of 0.2% to just over 810 million addresses.
- On a global basis, close to 70% of the countries/regions saw a quarter-over-quarter increase in unique IPv4 address counts in the fourth quarter, up 10% from the third quarter.
- 43 countries/regions saw IPv4 address counts grow 10% or more, while 13 saw counts decline 10% or more as compared with the previous quarter.
- Belgium again maintained a clear lead, with 37% of content requests being made over IPv6, up from 35% in the third quarter. France (11%) posted the largest quarter-over-quarter gain with 113%.
- Verizon Wireless (67%) and Belgium's Telenet (53%) continued to lead as the two network providers with more than half of their requests to Akamai made over IPv6.
- Similar to last quarter, nine of the top 20 providers had at least 25% of content requests to Akamai via IPv6. However, 18 of the top 20 - down from 20 in the previous quarter - had at least 10% of their requests to Akamai occur over IPv6.
- The United Kingdom had the fastest average mobile connection speed at 26.8 Mbps, with Spain in second place at 14.0 Mbps.
- Iran had the lowest average connection speed, at 1.3 Mbps, followed by Vietnam with an average connection speed of 1.8 Mbps.
- In the fourth quarter, Finland and Australia led the world with 99% 4 Mbps adoption rates, followed closely by Sweden with 98% adoption.