Average Speed Globally is 5.1 Mbps; Does Not Matter So Much

“Averages” do not always mean too much where it comes to the Internet. Though the global average access speed is 5.1 Mbps, according to Akamai, speeds in India average 2.5 Mbps.

In Singapore, the average speed is 137 Mbps.

In the Philippines, speeds average 2.8 Mbps; in Indonesia three Mbps; in Vietnam 3.4 Mbps.

All of that makes the concept of "average" a bit like having one foot in boiling water, one foot in nearly-freezing water. "On average" temperature means very little.

Keep in mind that the platform used also makes a difference, as access speeds usually are higher on fixed networks than on mobile networks, and most consumers in Asia who use the Internet do so on a mobile device. In addition, most mobile networks in much of Asia are of the 2G or 3G variety, not yet 4G.

Beyond such differences, speeds tend to be lower, or non-existent, in rural areas. Though the cost disparities are lesser, where it comes to mobile, compared to fixed networks, the gap remains.

In the United Kingdom, for example, the percentage of homes not able to buy a 10-Mbps service rises as density falls. In other words, more rural areas get lower speeds. The more rural, the lower the typical speed.

The reason is largely the cost of infrastructure, which is both more extensive, and yet also serving fewer customers per unit of investment. In other words, an ISP has to spend more, burt earns less.

In fact, in most very-rural areas, it might be impossible to earn an actual return. The difference in a business model can be transfer payments and universal service support.

In contrast, where density is very high, the business case is best, or close to best. “Average” is a squishy concept, where it comes to Internet access.

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