Global Internet Connection Speeds Rise Sharply in 2013

February 11, 2014 - 2 minutes read

internet speed

The 2013 numbers are in, and there’s good news and bad news. The good news: the Internet continues to get faster and faster. The bad news: the U.S. is lagging behind world leaders in Internet technology development.

Globally, Internet connection speeds rose by 29 percent, with the average connection clocking in at 3.6 megabytes per second. Performance improvements were strongest in East Asia’s technology hubs, with South Korea charging out to a big lead. The average South Korean Internet connection is a blazing 22.1 Mbps, far outpacing second-place Japan’s 13.3 Mbps mark. Hong Kong and the Netherlands tied for third place with average connection speeds of 12.5 Mbps.

The United States posted comparatively mediocre numbers. Average connectivity speeds in the U.S. are 9.8 Mbps, good for eighth place worldwide. However, this marked a year-over-year improvement of just 31 percent, which barely outpaces the global average and lags far behind the leading countries and regions.

Internet connectivity has a profound impact on economic activity, and faster speeds tend to fuel more rapid growth rates. This is especially true in retail, where the advent of smartphone-based shopping is expected to redefine the industry’s landscape in the years ahead. American tech industry experts stress the need for the country to keep pace with world leaders to take full advantage of the economic opportunities that come with improved Internet technologies.

For mobile and iPad app developers, faster Internet speeds mean that what was impossible yesterday will be possible tomorrow. New doors open as the connectivity limitations of yesteryear become a thing of the past.

Mobile app development in Chicago and across the country can similarly benefit from continued improvements in global Internet connectivity infrastructure. However, at least for the time being, software developers with ideas that rely on the world’s fastest Internet connections will continue to look overseas.

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