SA broadband speeds: the good, the bad and the ugly

A new report revealed some encouraging broadband speed trends in South Africa, but also served as a stark reminder of how poor local speeds are compared to global standards

By - October 20, 2013
Akamai State Of The Internet

Akamai Technologies released its Second Quarter 2013 State of the Internet Report, showing that South Africa’s average Internet connection speed increased to 2.3Mbps – the biggest quarterly increase over the last year.

The Akamai State of the Internet Report is based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, and provides insight into key global statistics including connection speeds, attack traffic, and network connectivity and availability, among many others.

Average Internet connection speed in South Africa

South Africa’s average Internet connection speed in Q2 2013 was 2,287kbps – up from 1,814kbps a year ago.

While South Africa’s significant average speed increase is encouraging, it is still lower than the global average of 3.3Mbps.

The global average connection speed continued to increase in the second quarter of 2013, growing 5.2% quarter-over-quarter to 3.3 Mbps.

South Africa also remained the EMEA country with the lowest average connection speed.

Average broadband speed in South Africa

Average broadband speed in South Africa

Average peak Internet connection speed

South Africa’s average peak connection speed, which represents an average of the maximum measured connection speeds, increased to 8.298Mbps. This is up from 5.537Mbps a year ago.

South Africa’s higher average peak connection speed is most likely linked to the launch of LTE and Telkom’s 20Mbps and 40Mbps VDSL products over the last year.

Despite this strong growth South Africa remains well behind the global peak average peak connection speed of 18.9Mbps.

Average peak broadband speed in South Africa

Average peak broadband speed in South Africa

South Africa versus the world

The Akamai State of the Internet Reports shows that South Africans are enjoying higher broadband speeds, but more work is needed to bridge the digital divide.

With an average Internet connection speed of 2.3 Mbps, South Africa had the lowest average speed among surveyed EMEA countries.

EMEA average connection speeds

EMEA average connection speeds

South Africa also continued to be the only country within the EMEA region with an average peak connection speed below 10Mbps, at 8.3 Mbps after a 3.4% quarterly increase.

EMEA average peak connection speeds

EMEA average peak connection speeds

The following graphs illustrate how South Africa’s broadband and peak broadband speeds stack up against a few other countries.

Average broadband speeds

Average broadband speeds

Average peak broadband speeds

Average peak broadband speeds

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