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Oz broadband speeds leap 917% in TWO WEEKS!

Akamai versus Pando: the fun of speed surveys

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Just a little over a fortnight ago, Australia’s average broadband speed was just 348 Kbps; now, apparently, it’s 3.54 Mbps, a stunning ten-times acceleration.

The difference, of course, is who’s reporting what. The earlier Pando Network report, which El Reg ignored because local data beyond the headline wasn’t available, was the source of the low number; the latest is from Akamai’s State of the Internet report.

The discrepancy must be methodological. While The Register can’t say anything about Pando’s methodology, Akamai has local clusters within Australia, which probably helps its content get through.

It’s also interesting to see the rising “average peak connection speed” that Akamai reports. In the four years the study offers, the fastest connections have risen from a little over 5.5 Mbps to more than 15 Mbps, mirroring the rapid upgrade of end users from ADSL to ADSL2+ services (the peak, however, has to be regarded as something of an aberration, since it also shows a brief and inexplicable spike in speed in mid-2009).

While more useful than the Pando data, comparisons between countries based on Akamai’s report should probably also be handled with care, since I would imagine that they reflect more infrastructure considerations than merely the sync speed on a local tail.

With that caveat in mind, it’s interesting to see that the USA’s average connection speed of 5.8 Mbps, the UK’s 5.026 Mpbs, Romania’s 6.8 Mpbs, Japan’s 8.9 Mbps and South Korea’s 13.8 Mbps all leave Australia with the chance to indulge in our usual nationalistic sackcloth-wearing at our comparatively poor performance. ®

Update - Eating Crow: Old habits die hard. The Pando Networks research talks kilobytes per second, a measure that nobody's used in my presence for more years than I care to count. So the differences between the two studies are less significant than I thought.

Apologies to Pando for that error; but I still wish the company's offer to supply country-specific data had been fulfilled.

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