A new report shows South Korea has the world’s fastest internet, followed by Hong Kong and Norway.
The report by U.S. cloud provider Akamai listed the average megabytes per second (Mbps) connection speed for South Korean internet as 26.3, which was more than 6 Mbps higher than second-place Hong Kong at 20.1. Norway and Sweden were within a few tenths of Hong Kong’s speed.
Even 10th place Latvia was more than 10 Mbps faster than the global average of 6.3. Many of the top 10 actually experienced slight decreases in speed this year. Globally, the average connection speed saw a 21 percent increase, with improvements in 137 countries.
The United States ranked 12th, according to the report, with an average speed of 16.3 Mbps and a yearly increase of 30 percent.
South Korea put 20 years of hard work into its broadband industry, building infrastructure and regulating the market to keep it competitive. Its government encouraged the people to get computers and subsidized the cost of high-speed internet for the low-income people and those without internet, according to Quartz.
In just five years, from 1996 to 2001, the number of Korean internet hosts grew six times. South Korea also had the highest broadband adoption rate in the report at 78 percent — 10 points higher than Japan, which was in second place.
South Korea’s urban concentration makes setting up fast connections easier, which is also an advantage for countries like Hong Kong and Singapore, noted Quartz. The U.S. has far too many suburbs and rural areas to get a top ranking in the report.
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