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Pakistan’s average internet speed increased by 150% in 2016

Finally some good news for Pakistan’s internet users! The country’s average internet speed has increased by over 150% in the past year, revealed a report published by Akamai, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) services provider.

Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet Report for the first quarter of 2016 revealed Pakistan’s average internet speed reached 2.5mbps, indicating a surge of almost 193 per cent from the first quarter of 2015 when the average speed was 1.6mbps. Average global internet speed has risen by 23 per cent.

Despite the improvement in  internet services and internet speed, Pakistan is still struggling to expand internet coverage and speed. For example, during the period under consideration, Pakistan’s neighbour India witnessed even greater growth in average internet speeds, going from 2.2mbps in 2015 to 3.465mbps in 2016. Hence the gap in average internet speeds of the two countries widened from 0.6mbps in first quarter of 2015 to 0.96mbps in 2016.

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Further, Pakistan lags behind in terms of accessibility of good internet services. Only 4.8 per cent of users have access to 4mbps broadband connections, while globally 78 per cent of users had such access.

In Pakistan, only 0.1 per cent of users have internet speed of 15mbps or more, while globally 8.5 per cent of people have access to 25mbps or more.

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Although the 3G and 4G auctions were a good starting point, further initiatives must be taken in order to improve both quality and accessibility of internet services in Pakistan, the report noted. In terms of mobile internet, average speed Pakistani users experienced in first quarter of 2016 was 3.4mbps, which is slightly higher than India, which clocked in at 3.2mbps.

Global avg internet speed grows by 23 per cent

The global average connection speed has risen by as much as 23% year over year to 6.3 mbps in the first quarter of this year, while the accessibility of faster internet (25mbps or more) has increased to 8.5% of users globally.

However, these global results are often skewed on account of certain over achievers and many under achievers. For example Kenya experienced a 298 per cent increase to reach 7.8mbps. On the other hand Syria experienced the greatest decline in speed, dropping 23 per cent to 1.4mbps. However the demographics at the top of the list remain unchanged, with the same powerhouse nations topping the list.

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South Korea ranks top with an average speed of 29mbps, which is more than 10 times faster than the average speed in Pakistan. A major reason for the slow speed in Pakistan is down to a lack of internet providers using the latest fiber optic equipment.  Such cables increase the speed of internet received, but only exist for a certain niche market in Pakistan. Further, the 3G and 4G network coverage must be expanded outside of the big cities if it is to have the desired impact.

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