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Global internet connection speeds and what they mean for 4K

Internet connectivity speeds are rising around the world, with many countries offering 4K capability.

Global average internet connection speeds have grown over the past year by 24% to reach 3.9Mbps following a 1.6% increase in the first quarter of 2014, writes Steve Montgomery. South Korea leads with an average of 23.6Mbps; six countries had speeds below 1Mbps, with Libya trailing at 0.5Mbps. This is the finding of Akamai’s State of the Internet Q1 2014 report.

A bandwidth of 15Mbps is required to deliver 4K (Ultra HD) adaptive bitrate streams. Eleven percent of connections reach this 4K ‘ready’ speed, spread across 47 countries/regions. Again, South Korea leads, with 60% of its connections at this rate.

“While there is room for improvement in high-speed broadband adoption in some areas of the world, the trend is very positive,” said David Belson, author of the report. “Steady growth suggests a strong, global foundation is being built for next-generation content and services like 4K video and that connectivity will continue to evolve to support the growing demands these emerging technologies will place on the internet.”