Thursday, May 29, 2008

Is usage growth outstripping available bandwidth?

Akamai just released its first quarterly 'State of the Internet' report (free registration). It focuses on security and connectivity issues, but also has some data on penetration and broadband.

Looking at the number of connections at high broadband speeds (> 5 Mb/s, page 13), the usual suspects top the list: South Korea (64%), Japan (48%), Hong Kong (35%), Sweden (29%). Two things stand out:
  • Romania and Nepal in the top 10. I am not sure about the state of the internet in those countries, but perhaps it is a matter of 'double or nothing': you are either very well connected (probably a limited number of people), or not at all.
  • There is a quarter-on-quarter drop in that number for several countries, including South Korea (-4.7%), Hong Kong (-9.8%) and Sweden (-9.0%). Perhaps this is a result of more people coming on line, and usage rising, whereas the network isn't upgraded at the same pace. Remember that no matter what the architecture or protocol is, fundamentally all networks (not just coax) use shared bandwidth.

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