The global average connection speed increased 20% annually. Across the globe, 132 qualifying countries (those with more than 25,000 unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai during the quarter) showed increases to their average connection speeds. Growth rates ranged from Morocco's 0.3% increase (to 2.4 Mbps) to the Congo's impressive 146% gain (to 1.3 Mbps). Conversely, 10 countries showed year-over-year losses. These fell between Paraguay's 1.7% decline (to 1.4 Mbps) to Sudan's 47% loss (to 1.0 Mbps). Libya had the slowest overall average connection speed at 0.7 Mbps.
Average peak connection speeds demonstrated consistently positive results as well. Of those qualifying countries, 106 saw average peak connection speeds increase from the fourth quarter of 2013. These gains ranged from Costa Rica's 0.6% increase (to 13.2 Mbps) to Syria's 125% growth (to 19.7 Mbps). Of the 36 countries that saw annual declines, Libya's was the largest at 46% (to 8.4 Mbps). Across all the qualifying countries, Kenya had the lowest average peak connection speed after dropping 27% to 5.8 Mbps in the fourth quarter.
High broadband connectivity, much like average connection speeds, was up 25% year-over-year globally-- slightly outpacing the third quarter's 22% increase. When looking at the country level, all but one country saw year-over-year increases -- ranging from Austria's moderate 8% gain to Qatar's massive 2,000% leap. China was the only country to have a decline in high broadband connectivity, after dropping 37% (to a 1.1% adoption rate). Due to the steep annual decline, China had the lowest high broadband adoption rate at 1.1%.
Broadband connectivity saw more modest gains than the other categories, only rising 7.8% on a global basis from the previous year. While the average increase was relatively muted, all but three countries saw increased year-over-year broadband adoption. These annual growth rates fell between the Czech Republic's 0.2% increase (to 84% adoption) to Algeria's tremendous 1,000% growth (to 2.2% adoption). Of the three countries/regions that did not show annual growth, Kenya's 43% decline (to 2.4% adoption) was the largest. Additionally, Egypt remained the country with the lowest level of broadband adoption at 1.4%, despite an impressive 136% year-over-year increase.
The global 4K readiness rate climbed 37% from the previous year. Of the 55 qualifying countries, China was the only one to see a year-over-year decline, falling 29% (to 0.2% readiness). In addition to the decline, China remained the country with the lowest 4K readiness rate. Among those that did grow, gains ranged from Austria's 15% increase (to 13% readiness) to Turkey's 621% jump (to 77% readiness). In sum, such strong annual growth is an encouraging long-term trend that points to ongoing improvements to broadband connectivity across the globe.
For the entire picture -- complete with quarterly analysis -- download the full Fourth Quarter, 2014 State of the Internet Report.