While they are not the only factor, faster Internet speeds have contributed greatly to a rapid rise in domestic online content consumption and engagement levels.
Unfortunately -- with just 60% of broadband connections over 4Mbps -- the United States still ranks 14th in the world, according to the latest data from content delivery network Akamai.
Thanks to their dense populations and strong technological infrastructures, Asian territories remain global leaders -- particularly Hong Kong, with its lightning-fast 49.3 Mbps speeds.
Akamai attributes much of the growth in peak speeds to an explosion in "high broadband" connections, where 10 Mbps is the minimum.
Along with Denmark, Finland, South Korea, and Switzerland, the United States did manage to nearly double its adoption of extra-fast access over the past year.
When it came to average connection speeds, all of the top 10 countries on Akamai’s list experienced positive year-over-year changes in average connection speeds.
Globally, a total of 125 countries experienced year-over-year increases, while only 10 countries that qualified for inclusion saw declines in connection speeds. The global average connection speed in the first quarter was 2.6 Mbps.
Meanwhile, of all mobile
operators tracked, Akamai found that five had an average connection speed of greater than 4 Mbps; 65 mobile operators had average connection speeds greater than 1 Mbps, and only three providers had
average connection speeds below 500 kbps.
When looking at peak connection speeds for mobile providers worldwide for which Akamai analyzed data, a provider in Hong Kong offered the highest average peak connection speed of 32.2 Mbps, and a German provider came in at a close second at 31.2 Mbps.
Overall, six mobile operators had average peak connection speeds of greater than 20 Mbps -- double the number of the previous quarter.