If you grew up in the 1970's and 80's, this simple statement could ruin your holiday - if Mom & Dad hadn't had the foresight to stock up on AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-volt batteries before you opened your presents, you had to put your handheld video games, animatronic animals, and talking dolls aside for a few days. In contrast, today's gadgets tend to come with a USB charging cable, so needing to have batteries on hand is no longer a real issue. (And if you find yourself in a *Cables not included situation, you probably have one or more stashed away somewhere in your office or house that you can use.)
Over the last 10 years, connected devices have grown in popularity and availability. While keeping them charged remains an issue, keeping them connected has arguably become a bigger one. These devices now rely on Internet connectivity for activation, for core functionality, and for content - without it, they essentially become expensive paperweights. (You *do* still have some paper around, right?)
The good thing is that Internet connectivity and connection speeds continue to improve around the world. The Third Quarter, 2016 State of the Internet / Connectivity Report, due out on December 14, highlights these improvements. While there were a few minor declines seen quarter-over-quarter, year-over-year increases were particularly strong, across both the average and average peak connection speed metrics. Looking at the longer-term trends provides a better view of changes over time, in contrast to comparing with just the prior quarter's figures.
Many connected devices communicate with the cloud in shorter bursts of data - these types of connections to Akamai influence our average connection speed calculations. Globally, for the third quarter of 2016, the average connection speed was 6.3 Mbps, up 21% from the third quarter of 2015. At a country level, yearly growth rates ranged from 0.1% in Kazakhstan to 44% in Fiji. As is seen in the figure below, the highest average connection speeds around the world were found in Asia Pacific and northern European countries, with several exceeding 20 Mbps. The lowest average connection speeds were found in Yemen, Syria, and Libya, with Yemen the only country below 1 Mbps.
However, an increasing number of connected devices are being used for media consumption - phones, tablets, media players, and VR/AR viewers. As media quality increases, and as more and more devices are used concurrently behind a single connection to consume media content, more bandwidth is needed. In this case, the average peak connection speed metric is a measure that more closely represents the capacity of an Internet connection. Globally, for the third quarter of 2016, the average peak connection speed was 37.2 Mbps, up 16% year-over-year. At a country level, yearly growth rates ranged from 0.1% in Malta to 23% in Nepal. As seen in the figure below, the highest average peak connection speeds around the world were found in countries in the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East, and Europe. The lowest average peak connection speeds were found in Zambia, Paraguay, and Yemen, all with average peak connection speeds below 10 Mbps.
For details on how average and average peak connection speeds, as well as other connectivity metrics, improved across the United States, as well as countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa regions, download the Third Quarter, 2016 State of the Internet / Connectivity Report on Wednesday, December 14. If you want to see how your country or state compares to others, check out the State of the Internet Connectivity Visualizations, or download the mobile applications for iOS and Android devices.