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Yes, the internet is being slow: Australia ranked 50th in the world for ‘net speed

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The internet is the backbone of the modern economy, and when the internet is fast, the country moves forward. But the latest State of the Internet report (opens in new tab) for the third quarter of 2016 from American web company Akamai makes Australia’s internet speeds look as stark as the red heart of the country.

The report, released on December 21 last year, documents that Australia’s average internet speed is a measly 9.4Mbps, way below the 25Mbps speeds that’s needed to be classified as a broadband nation.

Slow and low

A quarter of all the countries in the world – developed or developing – have faster networks, including our neighbours across the Tasman Sea. New Zealand – ranked 40th – still doesn’t qualify as for that ‘broadband nation’ badge, but does fare a little better at 11.3Mbps.

Topping the charts is South Korea, clocking up average speeds of 26.3Mbps, followed by Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland in the top five, and Latvia coming in at number 10.

In Asia-Pacific, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand all outshine Australia’s performance.And to add salt to the wound, Australia’s year-on-year improvement is dismal, too – it was the second-lowest behind Japan which, it should be said, averages twice the internet connection speed as Australia.

And these rankings could well change in the coming years, with China gaining about 100 million new fibre-to-home connections this year and the Filipino government, a country with one of the lowest broadband speeds and adoption rates, now investing in wireless and fibre networks across the country.

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Sharmishta Sarkar
Sharmishta Sarkar

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (yes, she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing cameras and lenses, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She also contributes to Digital Camera World and T3, and helps produce two of Future's photography print magazines in Australia.