India among countries with worst internet connections

Does your internet connection feel slow? Well, most probably it is. A report by Akamai, which manages an internet content delivery system used by hundreds of major websites across the world, reveals that despite3G rollout in 2011, the overall state of internet connections in India continues to be poor with average speed of just 0.9mbps. This puts India at 114th position in the list prepared by Akamai on the basis of average internet speed in quarter 4, 2011. 

In India all 3G connections are sold with a promise of an internet connection with a speed of at least several mbps. But it seems the reality is different. And with the growth in wired internet connections lagging behind, the average internet speed in the country remains poor. 

In comparison, China is 86th on the list with the average speed of 1.5mbps. Brazil has an average speed of 1.8mbps. For Asia-Pacific, Akamai said "India remained the only surveyed country within the region that has an average connection speed below 1mbps". 

The report says that South Korea has world's best internet infrastructure with average speed of over 17mbps. 

For India, the Akamai report reveals the speed has gone up by 13% in the last one year. But at the same time, the country has just 8.4% internet connections with speed of over 2mbps. In comparison, over 20% internet connections in china offer actual speed of over 2mbps. 

The number of internet connections that have less than 256kbps speed is even more alarming. Akamai report states that nearly 27% connections in India have less than 256kbps speed. Only four other countries in the world - Libya, Nigeria, Nepal and Iran - fare worse than India on this parameter. 

Incidentally, many internet service providers (ISPs) in India continue to define a connection with a minimum speed of 256kbps as broadband connection. The number is abysmally low and web activists and users argue that at a time when services like YouTube are part of life on the web, the minimum speed should be improved. 

After consulting with various ISPs, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had raised the minimum internet speed to 512kbps from January 1, 2011. But ISPs in India continue to sell connections with a minimum speed of 256kbps as broadband internet. Also most of the ISPs sell the broadband plans where only a limited amount of data can be downloaded at higher speed. Once the limit is reached, which in many cases is as low as 3GB per month, the speed is reduced to 256kbps. 


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