Where does the U.S. rank on the list of the top 10 countries or regions with the fastest internet? Nowhere.
This is a look at the Akamai Technologies rankings, which cover July through September of last year, are based on average peak connection speeds.
The U.S. landed at No. 14, partly because of its large landmass, which is difficult to fully cover with high-speed fiber. Click through the list to see which region snagged the No. 1 spot.
The fastest internet
The fastest internet #1. Hong Kong
With its high population density and strong government support, Internet access in Hong Kong is blazing fast. And unlike Internet lines just across the border, content censorship is virtually nonexistent. (China is ranked at No. 123, Belson said.) The average peak speed in Hong Kong was 54.1 megabits per second, according to Akamai, making it No. 1 on the list. At that speed, you could download the HD movie “Battleship,” which is set in Hong Kong, in about four minutes. But why would you want to?
The fastest internet #2. South Korea
Online gaming sucks up a lot of bandwidth, and there are few nations that love their games
more than South Korea. It is home to several gaming competitions, such as World Cyber Games, and has entire television channels devoted to “electronic sports.”
The average peak connection for the country was 48.8 megabits per second. And broadband, as in several of the top-ranked nations, is relatively cheap, too. People in Seoul can get 100 megabit-per-second lines for $31.90 a month, the report said.
“The pricing there is way more affordable,” Belson said.
The fastest internet #3. Japan
The country’s electronics industry may be losing its edge, but Japan’s telecommunications technology is still on top of its game.
The Japanese government has long prioritized Internet development as a national goal, Belson said. High-speed optic fiber runs through many parts of the country. Japanese connections reached 42.2 megabits per second on average, Akamai said.
The fastest internet #4. Latvia
When thinking about the most technologically advanced nations, Latvia probably doesn’t come to mind. But broadband lines there reached an average peak speed of 37.5 megabits per second, placing the country in the top four.”Some of the Eastern European countries that are on here have a good reputation for Internet connectivity,” Belson said. “They’re smaller. They have a lot of government backing.”
The fastest internet #5. Romania
Among those in the top 10, Romania was the only one to see its average peak speed fall from the previous quarter. The country’s average dropped 3.2 percent, compared with a global average decrease of 1.4 percent.
Still, most countries would love to have Romania’s broadband speed. With an average peak speed of 37.4 megabits per second, it was beat by Latvia by just a tenth of a megabit per second.
The fastest internet #6. Belgium
Belgium Internet connections peaked at an average of 32.7 megabits per second. At that speed, you could download the 2002 spy comedy “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” featuring Mike Myers’s Belgian baddie, in about six minutes.
The fastest internet #7. Switzerland
Befitting a major hub of the finance industry, Switzerland was clocked at 32.4 megabits per second on average. That compares with that other major hub, the U.S., which had an average peak speed of 29.6 megabits per second.
The fastest internet #8. Bulgaria
With its low taxes and cheap labor, Bulgaria is marketing itself as an attractive destination for global companies and investors. Another selling point? Its Internet speed. Bulgarian broadband reached an average of 32.1 megabits per second, an increase of 15 percent compared with the previous quarter.
The fastest internet #9. Israel
Web startup culture and fast Internet go hand in hand, said Belson, the Akamai editor. That’s why it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Israel made the list. The country’s average peak speed was 30.9 megabits per second.
“There’s good connectivity,” he said. “And there are smart, very technical people.”
A recent study conducted by researcher Startup Genome found Tel Aviv to be the best place for startups behind Silicon Valley.
The fastest internet #10. Singapore
With an average of 30.7 megabits per second, Singapore cracked the top 10 with a peak speed that is nearly double the global average of 15.9 megabits per second.
Thanks in part to its fast broadband, Singapore “is a tech hub,” said David Belson, who edited the report. The country is also home to well-known techie Eduardo Saverin, who moved there and renounced his U.S. citizenship before last year’s initial public offering of Facebook, which he co-founded.