S. Korea, Japan have world's fastest Internet links: survey

East Asian countries led by South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan are the best wired in the world with the highest number of fast broadband connections to the Internet, a recent report has found.

South Korea boasts the world's highest average connection speed at 14.6 Megabytes per second (Mbps) and also has six of Asia's 10 cities with the fastest link-ups, all with average speeds above 15 Mbps.

Japan had the second highest average connection speed of 7.9 Mbps, followed by the Chinese territory of Hong Kong with 7.6 Mbps, said the report by US-based network provider Akamai Technologies.

The other countries in the top ten are Romania, followed by Sweden, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark and the Czech Republic, with the United States at 18th place, with an average speed of 3.9 Mbps.

The survey classifies "broadband" connections as those of two Mbps or more, and "high broadband" as five Mbps or over, while link-ups at 20 Mbps and better were categorised as "extremely high speed connectivity."

In South Korea, 74 percent of connections were "high broadband," the world's top rate, while the figure was 60 percent in Japan, followed by Hong Kong with 46 percent, said the report.

The United States came 12th, with just 24 percent of its connections at five Mbps or more. Worldwide, the high broadband percentage was 19 percent.

Growing demand for online high-definition video content is driving demand for faster connections, said Akamai's 'State of the Internet' report for the third quarter of 2009.

"As the quantity of HD-quality media increases over time and the consumption of that media increases, end users are likely to require ever-increasing amounts of bandwidth," the report said.