Akamai Technologies, the global leader in content delivery network (CDN) services, today released its Fourth Quarter, 2014 State of the Internet Report. Based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform™, the report provides insight into key global statistics such as connection speeds and broadband adoption across fixed and mobile networks, overall attack traffic, global 4K readiness, IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 implementation.
The report also includes insight into several high-profile security vulnerabilities, including Poodle, UPnP attacks, DNS flooders and Yummba Webinject.
Data and graphics from the Fourth Quarter, 2014 State of the Internet Report can be found on the Akamai State of the Internet site and through the Akamai State of the Internet app for iOS and Android devices. State of the Internet Report discussions are also taking place on the Akamai Community.
“Over the course of 2014, we’ve seen healthy global growth across all of our key metrics for Internet connectivity, broadband adoption and 4K readiness,” said David Belson, editor of the report. “The positive trends make an interesting contrast to a recent study that found 4.4 billion people around the world do not go online, indicating a strong need for continued efforts to improve and deploy Internet infrastructure globally.”
European Highlights from Akamai’s Fourth Quarter, 2014 State of the Internet Report:
Average Connection Speeds and Broadband Connectivity: positive long-term European growth trends continue.
For the third consecutive quarter, the global average connection speed remained above the 4 Mbps “broadband” threshold, increased by a nominal of 0.7% to 4.5 Mbps compared to the previous quarter.
With a 3.5% increase in the fourth quarter to 14.6 Mbps, Sweden pulled just ahead of Switzerland to achieve the highest average connection speed among the European countries surveyed. Having held the top spot for the last three quarters, Switzerland fell to second place with a 14.5 Mbps average connection speed this quarter, an unchanged figure compared to the previous quarter. Both countries, along with the Netherlands, Ireland, Czech Republic, Finland, Denmark, Romania, Norway, the UK, and Belgium, had an average connection speed above the 10 Mbps “high broadband” threshold.
Year-over-year changes in average connection speeds were consistently positive for European countries. The smallest increase of 3.9% was seen in Austria, with Romania achieving the highest yearly growth rate of 61%. In addition, Finland, Sweden and Portugal posted increases of more than 30% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.
The global average peak connection speed increased slightly in the fourth quarter by 8.4% to 26.9 Mbps. In Europe, increases this quarter ranged from 1.3% in Portugal (44.3 Mbps) to 14% in Romania (67.0 Mbps). Year-over-year changes were also positive; Austria, with a 9.4% increase, was the only European country to achieve less than a 10% yearly growth, while Finland notched up an impressive 40%.
Global high broadband (>10 Mbps) adoption rates increased 2.9% in the fourth quarter, after a slight decline in the third quarter. In Europe, three of the countries surveyed had more than half of their unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai at average speeds above 10 Mbps in the fourth quarter, as Romania’s robust 11% quarter-over-quarter increase pushed it back up to 55% high broadband adoption to join Switzerland (56%) and the Netherlands (56%). Other quarterly increases ranged from 1.0% in Norway, to 17% in Spain. Looking at year-over-year growth, all surveyed European countries achieved gains of 8% or more, and Portugal and Romania saw high broadband adoption rates more than double compared to the previous year.
Global broadband (>4 Mbps) adoption rates decreased slightly in the fourth quarter, losing 0.7% to reach 59%. In this quarter three European countries achieved broadband adoption rates of 90% or more; Switzerland (93%), Denmark (92%) and the Netherlands (91%), while all other countries surveyed in the European region had more than 60% of their unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai at average speeds above 4Mbps.
The fourth quarter saw a number of announcements that are expected to spur future broadband initiatives across the European Union over the next few years. E.g. in November, the Hungarian government declared its plans to spend €586 million bringing broadband Internet to the entire country by 2018, and the European Commission announced a €315 billion plan aimed at infrastructure and broadband improvement.
European 4K Readiness: Growing availability and adoption of ultrafast connectivity
Following the introduction of the ‘4K Readiness’ metric in the First Quarter, 2014 State of the Internet Report, Akamai continues to identify candidate geographies that are most likely to sustain connection speeds above 15 Mbps, as Ultra HD adaptive bitrate streams typically require bandwidth between 10 and 20 Mbps. The findings do not account for other ‘readiness’ factors, such as the availability of 4K-encoded content or 4K-capable televisions and media players.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, nine of the European countries surveyed had at least one-in-every-five IP addresses connecting to Akamai at average speeds above 15 Mbps; Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Romania, Norway, the UK, Denmark, Finland, and the Czech Republic.
This quarter Sweden led the way in Europe, with the highest 4K readiness rate at 31%. However, both Switzerland and the Netherlands were close behind with 4K readiness rates of 30%. Year-over-year, strong increases in 4K readiness were observed in all European countries and three countries saw their 4K readiness rates more than double compared to the fourth quarter of 2013; Romania (320%), Portugal (204%) and Spain (102%). A further eight European countries achieved yearly increases in excess of 40%; Hungary (94%), Slovakia (68%), Sweden (61%), Finland (55%), Denmark (50%), Switzerland (50%), Norway (50%) and the UK (42%).
Attack Traffic and Security: Attacks on Port 23 more than double
Akamai maintains a distributed set of unadvertised agents deployed across the Internet to log connection attempts that the company classifies as attack traffic. Based on the data collected by these agents, Akamai is able to identify the top countries from which attack traffic originates, as well as the top ports targeted by these attacks. It is important to note, however, that the originating country as identified by the source IP address may not represent the nation in which an attacker resides.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, Akamai observed attack traffic originating from 199 unique countries/regions. As seen in previous reports, China once again remained well ahead of the other countries/regions (41%), originating more than three times the observed attack traffic from the U.S. (13%). This quarter, Germany joined the top 10 originating country listing, responsible for 1.8% of all observed traffic (up from 0.6% in the third quarter). The majority of attack traffic continued to originate from the Asia Pacific region (59%), while Europe had the next highest concentration of observed attack traffic at 19%, up significantly from 11% in the previous quarter.
In total, attack traffic targeting the top 10 ports comprised 79% of all observed traffic in the fourth quarter, a substantial increase from 38% in the previous quarter. Port 23 (Telnet) remained the most popular target in the fourth quarter, accounting for 32% of observed attacks, a significant increase to more than 2.5 times previous levels. Significant increases were also observed for Ports 445 (Microsoft-DS), 8080 (HTTP Alternate), 3389 (Microsoft Terminal services) and 22 (SSH).
Reported Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks: European customers experienced increased DDoS attacks this quarter.
In addition to observations on attack traffic, the State of the Internet Report includes insights into DDoS attacks based on reports from Akamai’s customers. Customers reported 327 attacks during the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of more than 20% over the third quarter. The Commerce and Enterprise segments again accounted for the majority of attacks.
In Europe, DDoS attacks grew by 18% quarter over quarter. Comparing year-over-year trends, the European region showed the greatest rate of growth in attacks compared to the Americas and Asia Pacific regions, increasing 28% from 167 attacks in 2013 to 214 attacks in 2014.
IPv4 and IPv6: European countries lead the world in IPv6 adoption
In the fourth quarter of 2014, nearly 803 million IPv4 addresses, from 239 unique countries/regions connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform. The number of unique IPv4 addresses seen globally by Akamai grew by about 12 million quarter-over-quarter. Among the top 10 countries in the fourth quarter, the UK and South Korea showed the largest gains at 8.1% and 6.6% respectively compared to the previous quarter.
European countries continued to dominate the global top 10 listing for IPv6 adoption. New entrant Norway achieved an 88% quarter-over-quarter jump in IPv6 traffic, although Belgium remains in the lead with 32% of content requests made over IPv6, more than double the percentage of second-place Germany. As seen in previous quarters, cable and wireless providers continued to drive the number of IPv6 requests made to Akamai, many of which are leading the way for IPv6 adoption in their respective countries. Verizon Wireless and Brutele saw more than half their requests to Akamai made over IPv6, with Telnet close behind. German carriers Kabel Deutschland, Kabel BW and Unitymedia once again had more than a quarter of their requests to Akamai over IPv6 in the fourth quarter.
Mobile Connectivity: UK has fastest average connection speed at 16.0 Mbps
In the Fourth Quarter, 2014 State of the Internet Report, 50 countries/regions qualified for inclusion in the mobile connectivity section. The UK had the fastest average connection speed at 16.0 Mbps. The next closest country, Denmark, had just over half that speed at 8.8 Mbps.
Average peak mobile connection speeds again spanned an extremely broad range, from 157.3 Mbps in Singapore down to 7.5 Mbps in Argentina. In Europe, only the UK (61.8 Mbps) achieved speeds above 50 Mbps.
The report also examines the percentage of connections to Akamai from mobile network providers at “broadband” speeds (more than 4 Mbps). In the fourth quarter Denmark and Sweden each achieved an impressive 97% level of mobile broadband adoption, joining Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to lead the pack.
• The UK was amongst only nine European countries to have at least one-in-every-five IP addresses connecting to Akamai at average speeds above 15 Mbps
• The UK has the fastest average mobile connection speed at 16.0 Mbps by comparison with 50 other countries or regions surveyed
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