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Hong Kong has fastest broadband on the planet

Slaps South Korea into second as UK finishes out of the medals in 21st

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Asian countries topped the global broadband charts again in the previous quarter, with plucky Hong Kong knocking long-time champ South Korea from its lofty perch to register the fastest services in the world for both mobile and fixed connectivity.

The latest quarterly State of the Internet report from content delivery provider Akamai revealed Hong Kong to have the highest average peak connection speeds in the world, at 49.2Mbps, dropping South Korea into second spot with 47.8Mbps. Japan made it an Asian 1-2-3 by clocking in at 39.5Mbps.

Hong Kong’s rise saw its highest average speeds jump 7.1 per cent since the previous quarter and a whopping 25 per cent year-on-year.

The Special Administrative Region of China is blessed with an extensive, advanced fibre optic infrastructure.

Its relatively small geographical area and extremely high population density have made it historically more cost effective for ISPs to introduce their services here, attracting customers with low prices.

However, there are signs of a plateauing - in terms of the number of households with ‘high broadband’ services over 10Mbps, Hong Kong was outpaced by Japan (37 per cent) and South Korea (53 per cent) last quarter, with year-on-year growth the lowest of any country in the top ten at 9.7 per cent.

Its average connection speed was also lower, at 9.3Mbps, than S Korea (15.7) and Japan (10.9), who claimed first and second spot globally.

Hong Kong operators are also warning of price increases, as the market matures and stablises.

Alex Arena, MD of the region’s largest fixed line provider HKT Trust, told local rag The Standard that any price cuts would hurt profits now that customers are signing up to two or three year deals. He added that prices “are biased to go up rather than down”.

These Asian nations are of course still light years ahead of the UK, which languished in 21st place globally with an average connection speed of just 5.6Mbps, according to Akamai.

Australia, meanwhile, suffered an unexpected decline of 35 per cent from the previous quarter to sit in 48th place with an average of just 3.5Mbps. Akamai blamed anomalies in its data possibly “related to issues seen with a single large network provider within the country”.

Elsewhere, Akamai revealed stats from new partner Ericsson which once again highlighted the unstoppable growth of the mobile internet.

An anonymised list placed a Hong Kong operator – ‘HK-1’ – on top of the world with an average peak connection speed of 32.2Mbps.

Akamai argued that the quarterly jump of over 250 per cent may be down to a change in the firm’s network architecture. ®

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