Did you ever wonder about why the internet speeds in our country [/insert "Pilipinas kong mahal" here] are this way? Do you have friends in other countries and when you talk about and compare internet speeds, they do that ‘tsk tsk‘ sound that people do when they want to look as if they sympathize with you but in reality they just pity you?
You get the idea that I’ve experienced this a lot? [/insert internet sarcasm sign here]
I have a friend in Japan [who shall not be named, boo you] who mocks me when he says that he gets 37.8Mbps on the average AT HOME, and that he actually finds “torrent-ing” now a bit boring, especially now that he can download a high-def movie in a little over 5minutes. Piracy issues aside, I find that just ridiculous — especially when you remember how it is trying to get good internet speed here in Manila, how telcos seem to be squeezing every last peso out of you, and you still get less than 1Mbps 90percent of the time. And SOME telcos even do data capping on their broadband connections. (I know right?)
In reality, the Philippines is fast turning into an internet haven — most businesses have online components, almost everybody in the big metros are connected either at home or through their mobile devices, and social networking is booming like you wouldn’t believe. Let me repeat that — ALMOST EVERYBODY THAT MATTERS IS INVESTED IN THE INTERNET.
Now it is but my humble opinion that internet providers should step up and catch up. My internet connection at home, for example, is at a humble 1.5Mbps, as advertised. I get only half that speed half the time and only 950kbps the rest of the time. What’s up with that, you will ask. I ask that most of the time too.
As comparison, let’s check out some figures that Akamai spit out in it’s recent study on global internet speeds.
Top country to live in if you want awesome internet speeds is obviously South Korea. They have an average speed in country that the Philippines can only dream about. They are also starting a project now called “Gigabit Internet”, where households can have 1Gbps connections.
- Average internet speeds in country – 13.8 Mbps
Households – normally 80 to 100Mbps
Residential Upper limit – 250 Mbps (1Gbps project)
Second on the list is still in Asia – Hong Kong. Not as speedy as in SoKor, but residences who can afford it — and it is really cheap if you consider “cost of living” figures — still have the option to have 175Mbps in their homes.
- Average internet speeds in country – 10.3 Mbps
Households – normally 50 to 100Mbps
Residential Upper limit – 175 Mbps
Third on the list, still in Asia – Japan. Maybe one can attribute it to the fact that there are more connections per city in Japan than in SoKor, but you have to be somewhat amazed that the speeds are still not that bad. My friend — mentioned above — told me that the plan he has is the cheapest one, and still he gets almost 40Mbps at home. IKR?
- Average internet speeds in country – 8.9 Mbps
Households – normally 30 to 100Mbps
Residential Upper limit – 120 Mbps
Fourth on the global list is in Europe – the Netherlands. It is worth mentioning that while average speeds in country is only pegged (only?!?) at 8.5Mbps, the Dutch have a lot more choices as to how much bandwith they want at home, with plans topping out at 200Mbps for those who can afford it.
- Average internet speeds in country – 8.5 Mbps
Households – normally 20 to 200Mbps
Here’s an infographic for you, on the ranking of some Asia Pacific countries in that Akamai study. Note that the Philippines is 103rd on the list — our average speed in country is at about 1.2Mbps.
I actually trust SPEEDTESTS.NET‘s figures better, just because they are more real time than Akamai. Speedtest puts the average connection speed in country at around 0.8Mbps.
One other interesting quote is that Obama himself said that (on the release of this study) “South Korean homes now have greater Internet access than we do.” Ok, mister. Make it all about you.
The US ranks 12th on the list, average speed in country is 5.8Mbps.