Digital divide widened in 4Q09: Akamai

The digital divide widened during 4Q09, with eight of the ten leading countries improving their average data speeds while the global average declined, according to Akamai.
The company, which tracks the state of internet speeds every quarter, said that the global average connection speed declined 1.2% to 1.7 Mbps.
While the divide may be widening, the floor is still rising, Akamai said. The number of countries with average speeds less than 1Mbps decreased to 96 from 103 in the prior quarter. And just three countries – half as many as in Q3 – had average speeds lower than 100Kbps.
Nearly every nation on the top ten list improved their scores. The exceptions were South Korea, - which remained in 1st place despite a 24% decline quarter-on-quarter to 11.7Mbps - and Japan, which declined 4% to 7.6Mbps but was the 3rd fastest in the standings.
The pair sandwiched Hong Kong, which had average speeds of 8.6Mbps.
Romania was the fastest country in Europe, Akamai said, and with speeds of 7.2Mbps was the 4th fastest globally.
Latvia followed with 6.2Mbps, then Sweden with 6.1Mbs, Netherlands with 5.3Mbps, Czech Republic and Denmark with 5.2Mbps each, and Switzerland rounding out the top 10 with 5.1Mbps.