Want an Internet of Stuff? Not so 4K-ing fast ... yet – Akamai

4K speeds long way off, but IPv6 growing – report

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Analysis Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet report paints a pretty grim picture for 4K adoption. As well as charting IPv6 uptake, an important step forward to catering for the billions of new connected objects that account for the Internet of Things (IoT), the report finds that internet speeds in many countries still lag behind the minimum requirements for streaming 4K.

Using data generated by Akamai’s Intelligent Platform, which handles two trillion requests each day, Akamai says it is uniquely placed to see patterns in global internet data. The report looks at internet connection speeds, broadband adoption, attack traffic, IPv4 exhaustion, IPv6 adoption, and any other emerging trends in the data – across both wireless and fixed infrastructure. Even Ericsson gets to pitch in with its observations on voice and data traffic growth on mobile networks. (All numbers for this Q3 2014 are compared to the immediate preceding quarter.)

In the fixed line sector, the global average connection speed dropped 2.8 per cent to 4.5Mbps, and the global average peak connection speed fell 2.3 per cent to 24.8Mbps. South Korea continued its dominance, with the highest average connection speed of 25.3Mbps, while Hong Kong claimed the highest average peak speed of 84.6Mbps.

The global rate of broadband adoption, lines faster than 4Mbps, grew one per cent in the quarter to 60 per cent. South Korea managed 96 per cent broadband adoption, with Bulgaria (95 per cent) and Switzerland (93 per cent) behind it. The global adoption of “high broadband” lines, defined as greater than 10Mbps, dropped 0.5 per cent but high broadband adoption still sat at 23 per cent. South Korea remained the country with the greatest high broadband adoption, at 81 per cent - with Hong Kong in second place with 55 per cent.

Akamai’s 4K readiness category is the most worrying for the industry, as "4K-ready" lines, those faster than 15Mbps, fell 2.8 per cent globally. South Korea led again, managing 66 per cent 4K readiness. Hong Kong (37 per cent) and Japan (33 per cent), but while the total is still disappointing for those marketers flaunting 4K’s benefits, the percentage growth is encouraging. Only Japan and Taiwan didn't manage double-digit growth, and Indonesia caused something of an anomaly with an 1,468 per cent increase.

In mobile connections, the global average speed ranged from 18.2Mbps in first-placed South Korea, down to the last-placed Iran with 0.9Mbps. The peak highest average speeds ranged from Singapore’s 98Mbps down to 3.3Mbps in Iran. While Sweden managed to get 94 per cent of its mobile connections above the 4Mbps broadband threshold, Akamai notes the contrast between best and worst by pointing out that four countries had 1 per cent or fewer mobile lines above 4Mbps. Ericsson adds that the volume of mobile traffic grew by 10 per cent between the quarters.

Akamai also found that Apple’s mobile devices accounted for 39 per cent of cellular web requests, with Android Webkit trailing at 31 per cent – defying the ratio you would infer from Android's dominant sales figures. When you add in Wi-Fi, the Apple figure rises to just over 50 per cent, and Android Webkit dipped to just under 30 per cent.

In the quarter, Akamai saw a 0.3 per cent increase in the number of unique IPv4 addresses connecting to its platform, growing to just over 790 million – up two million on the previous quarter. Belgium remained the global IPv6 adoption leader, with 27 per cent of its connections to the Akamai platform occurring over IPv6 – the new addressing system that promises 340 undecillion (3.4 x 1038) unique IP addresses, compared with the 4.3 billion afforded by IPv4.

European countries accounted for eight of the top 10 adopters, with Greece achieving a 361 per cent increase in the period to push China out of the list.

Aaaaand... the attack traffic

Onto the attacks launched on digital assets, where Chinese IP addresses accounted for 49 per cent of observed attack traffic. The US was in second place, with 17 per cent, and had grown nominally in the quarter just like China. Indonesia managed an impressive turnaround, dropping from second place last quarter with 15 per cent of global attack traffic down to only 1.9 per cent in Q3.

Levels of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks were unchanged in the quarter, although new toolkits and a set of attacks targeting countries hosting World Cup matches were observed.

Akamai writes that “the third quarter of 2014 was dominated by the Shellshock vulnerabilities and attack activity targeting websites critical to coverage of the World Cup. We also saw an increase in the use of attack tools like Blackshades RAT and the Spike DDoS toolkit."

It adds: "Q3 was also notable for DDoS attacks targeting vulnerabilities in Linux systems.”

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