The United States placed eighth in average Internet connection speed, trailing Latvia and the Czech Republic in cloud service provider Akamai's latest State of the Internet report.
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Overall, the global average connection speed in the third quarter of 2013 grew an "impressive" 10 percent from the previous quarter to 3.6 megabits per second (Mbps), according to the quarterly report released Jan. 28.
U.S. was eighth among 133 countries and regions in Internet speed.
"The strong quarterly growth was driven by surprisingly large quarter-over-quarter changes seen in many countries," the report said.
Among the countries that experienced a significant spurt was perennial leader South Korea, where the average connection speed rose 66 percent to 22.1 Mbps. The Netherlands had the second highest quarterly increase among top 10 countries with a 23 percent increase.
Coming in a distant second in average connect speed among the 133 countries and regions tracked by Akamai was Japan at 13.3 Mbps, followed by Hong Kong at 12.5 Mbps.
The United States was No. 8 at 9.8 Mbps, behind Latvia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Netherlands and Hong Kong in ascending order. Ninth place Belgium and Ireland rounded out the top 10.
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic became the seventh country with an average connection speed of more than 10 Mbps. During the same period a year ago, only South Korea and Japan could make that claim.
While the average speed rose, the average peak connection speed dipped 5.2 percent to 17.9 Mbps. "Given the aggressive growth seen across the average connection speed metric, this decline is somewhat surprising," the report said.
Among mobile network providers, the average connection speed ranged from a high of 9.5 Mbps to a low of 0.6 Mbps. Average peak connection speeds ranged from 49.8 Mbps to 2.4 Mbps.
Based on data collected by Ericsson, the volume of mobile data traffic rose 80 percent from the third quarter in 2012 and 10 percent from the second quarter.
Akamai recorded cyber-attack traffic from 185 countries and regions, up 10 from the second quarter. China topped the list, accounting for 35 percent of the traffic in the quarter, followed by Indonesia, 20 percent, and the United States, 11 percent.
While the Asia Pacific region accounted for more than two-thirds of the traffic, increases were recorded from Europe and North and South America.
During the quarter, Akamai customers reported being targeted by 281 distributed denial-of-service attacks, down 11 percent from the prior quarter. Enterprise and commerce customers accounted for a total of just more than 70 percent of the reported attacks.
A journalist for more than 25 years, Antone Gonsalves has covered general, business and technology news for a wire service, magazines and websites. He started his career with United Press International, working as a reporter in Kansas and later as an editor in charge of news coverage in Florida and California. At the height of the Internet boom in the late '90s, Gonsalves moved to San Francisco, where he has worked as a business technology reporter and editor for PC Week, InformationWeek, TechWeb and CSOonline.