The best country to live in for the fastest internet connection

“Perhaps you’re a digital nomad, dependent on a really good internet connection to load your posts, photos and videos. Or maybe you run an online business whose survival depends on the internet,” Isabelle Fraser writes for Angloinfo. “Or do you have teenage children who will drive you mad if they don’t have access to an internet connection that delivers a high-speed connection. Any of those sound like you?”

“According to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet report (Q1 2017), the global average connection speed 7.2 Mbps (megabits per second),” Fraser writes. “In total, 25 countries/regions worldwide posted average speeds of at least 15 Mbps, up from 23 countries/regions in the fourth quarter of 2016.”

The top 10 countries with the fastest internet speeds (Avg Mbps/YoY change)

1. South Korea (28.6/-1.7%)
2. Norway (23.5/10%)
3. Sweden (22.5/9.2%)
4. Hong Kong (21.9/10%)
5. Switzerland (21.7/16%)
6. Finland (20.5/15%)
7. Singapore (20.3/23%)
8. Japan (20.2/11%)
9. Denmark (20.1/17%)
10. United States (18.7/22%)

Global average (7.2/15%)

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: The figures above not include mobile connectivity. In the first quarter of 2017, average mobile connection speeds (aggregated at a country/region level) ranged from a high of 26.0 Mbps in the United Kingdom to a low of 2.8 Mbps in Venezuela.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. It’s a shame I have to explain this when I see these stats. It reminds me of the sheer stupidity surrounding the net neutrality debate.

    It’s yet more stupid comparisons of the United States to countries that are barely the size of many of our states.

    South Korea has 38,000 square miles and a mere 51 million people. The United States has 3.8 MILLION square miles and 321 million people. It’s going to take a long longer to bring high-speed Internet access to all of the U.S. than it is tiny little South Korea.

    It’s like comparing Los Angeles to South Korea and then pointing out that the average download speed in Los Angeles is over 40Mb/s. Los Angeles is a fraction of the size of South Korea,

    South Korea is a mere 1% the size of the United States.

    Or compare California to South Korea.
    94% of California has broadband coverage.
    California is 4 times the size of South Korea.
    Average state-wide speed is 53.8 Mb/s.
    88% of Californias have access to 100Mb/s or higher, even if they don’t subscribe to it. My download speed is 350Mb/s.

    It’s time we stopped comparing the United States to tiny countries with small, homogenous populations in every respect from government services to education. We are not the same.

    Georgia has 91% broadband coverage, 86%of the people have access to 100Mb/s or higher. The average download speed in Atlanta is 49.19 Mbps. This is 20.9% faster than the average in Georgia and 13.6% faster than the national average.

    One thing is for certain. There are far more people in just parts of the United States getting higher speeds than there are in all of South Korea. There are definitely more people in the United States getting higher speeds than are listed as the average for South Korea.

    The best country to live in for the fastest Internet connection is The United States.

    1. Good grief, it wasn’t a dick measuring competition. It was just a factual comparison of the average internet speeds found around the world.

      Personally I don’t care that much about the speed of my connection, so long as it remains above a sensible level and is reliable. There are any number of vastly more important things to worry about, or be proud of.

    2. Best way to look at this is the population density and that makes the Finland number one. Finland has 18 people per square kilometer when USA has 35. So building an infrastructure that covers 100% of the population with speed that gives you the sixth spot in the worldwide ranking is excellent work.

      Size does matter though. USA is 9,8 million km2 when Finland is 338424 km2.

    3. True, there is the question of population density and scale …

      … but there are misnomers. As ‘Nopey’ pointed out, Finland’s population density is half that of the USA. Ditto Norway (13.6). Sweden is less too (22).

      Similarly, places like New York City, DC with high populations & population densities for coverage quickly make up for shortfalls in the low population US ‘flyover’ regions. Case in point:
      8.5M = New York City
      8.1M = Kansas + Nebraska + South Dakota + North Dakota + Montana.

      Plus – these comparisons also don’t usually address another important axis, namely the cost of the service, which is an area that the USA chronically lags behind as being much more expensive.

      Which means that the USA is not the country with the best combination of performance with price … that’s the classical definition of what constitutes the better _value_.

    4. There are always influences that can affect these lists, like population density overall and surface area as you pointed out as well as government types, developed nation, average education and so on. The list however is for the parameter of country and while it does have limitations they were able to rattle off the top 10 countries while you have only listed one. Perhaps if you shared a list of top 10 countries according to your evaluation it would be of value, otherwise it looks more like you are satisfying the insecurity of one nation.

    5. People use the same argument about Canada… but this is talking about connecting PEOPLE, not land area… and like the USA, MOST of the people live in cities. Size does make a difference, but by and large, MOST of the people actually live in a SMALL area.

  2. Curious to see the original report and how the data is compiled. Here in the Netherlands, the *slowest* package available is 40 Mbps with most providers; most offer speeds of up to 400 or 500 Mbps. Thus surprised to not see the Netherlands in the Top 10.

    1. I too was curious about how the figures were established.

      As far as I can see, the data appears to have been collated by Akamai and represents the average connection speed they experience for each country. Akamai are a pretty big operator and their data is probably as likely to be as accurate as any.

      Obviously being an average, there will be individual connections which are substantially faster or slower than the figure mentioned. Here in the UK, I have a relatively slow broadband connection in my village but my daughter’s house is in a city with an amazingly fast fibre connection all the way to her house.

  3. In 36 hours, Comcast is going to be upgrading my connection to 1000 Mbps from 250 Mbps (plus Boost). And for only $20 more than I’m paying now!

    Been waiting for a 1 Gbps connection for a while. Going to be sweet!

    1. And that +$20/mo is for just the first year?

      Including all taxes/fees, just what’s the steady-state cost after the incentive period is over?

      To compare, I found 60Mbps for $34/mo in Sweden.

      Granted, that’s not a 250 Mbps or 1Gbps, but an IT friend lives there; I’ll ask him offline what he has and how much he’s anecdotally paying.

      In the meantime, a colleague’s horror story with Comcast is running in today’s local newspaper’s “Bamboozled” section.

  4. Nominal speed offered by carriers, and actual measured speed at your device level are two totally different thing. I do not know if the report is referring to the offered or the average measured actual.

    1. I doubt that Akamai have any idea what speed people have paid for. They would only know the operating speed of their connection to as seen by Akemai, therefore I think that we can safely assume they are measuring actual speed rather than the advertised “up to” speed.

      I would expect that the speed measured would be dependent not solely on the speed of the internet line, but could also be affected by local factors such as slow WiFi or by computers which are somewhat elderly and can’t keep up. In my house, if Akamai were to measure my internet speed, I wouldn’t be surprised if they got completely different answers depending on whether it was my Mac, my different models of iPads or my iPhones being used at the time. If they were to measure the connection speed when my smart television was in use, it might appear to be especially slow because everything else on that TV is painfully slow.

  5. Noticed that the report does refer to “average” and the indicated speeds are very low than the usual nominal offered by carriers. So, believe these reflect actual (average) experienced speed.

  6. I would have thought there were Cell only speeds because in Canada I don’t think you can get a plan this is lower than 25Mbps for Home internet in 90% of the country. We didn’t even make the list. I know Canada consistently rates as 1 of the best places according to Netflix for connection speeds.

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