Thursday, July 4, 2013

Korea's broadband networks are faster than Japan's

It would seem unnecessary to do a post like this, in view of the massive empirical data accumulated in recent years to support my assertion.  However, I am continually amazed by the number of highly educated Westerners and others from outside Korea, who think that Japan's ICT sector is more advanced and therefore that Japan must have faster broadband networks than Korea.
The best available measure of broadband speed is Akamai's quarterly "State of the Internet" report, which provides solid data with which to compare the average download speed of the internet across different nations.   The chart accompanying this post is based on 4th Quarter data reported by Akamai (click on it to see a full size version).
To place Korea and Japan in a little broader global context, the second graphic shows average measured connection speed for the top ten ranking countries in the world, as reported in Akamai's State of the Internet report for the fourth quarter of 2012.  (again, click on the graphic to see a larger version)

Of course, assessment of broadband internet involves other considerations such as penetration (the percent of people who have access), household access, price/affordability and so forth.    Even in these areas South Korea ranks at or near the top among national broadband leaders. However, the actual amount of data that can be downloaded per second is what customers will appreciate, anywhere in the world.

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