Sick of Slow Downloads? Move to Asia

Photographer: Malcolm Park/Getty Images

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Photographer: Malcolm Park/Getty Images

Asia is solidifying its place as the world's epicenter for top-speed Internet access, according to the latest research from Akamai Technologies expected to be published later today.

The top four places, ranked by their average peak connection speeds, were in Asia. Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Singapore had the speediest broadband, in that order, according to the study that looked at traffic flowing through Akamai's global network from July through September. With Taiwan ranking No. 8, regions or countries in Asia made up half of the top 10.

Nearly all of the major Asia-Pacific markets tracked by Akamai improved their peak connection speeds by at least 12 percent compared with the previous year. Indonesia was the only one that dropped — a 30 percent decrease year-over-year to 9.7 megabits per second, putting the country at 115th on the list. India is the only major market in Asia that came in behind Indonesia, with an average peak speed of 9 Mbps. China's 11.3 Mbps average wasn't enough to break into the top 100, either.

People in Asia are certainly taking advantage of the fast connections. Singapore, Japan and South Korea were among the top five countries with the highest mobile-broadband penetration in 2012, according to a report from the International Telecommunication Union, an agency of the United Nations. Each of those countries exceeded 100 mobile-data connections per 100 inhabitants, which suggests people are using multiple connected devices.

The concentration of high-speed Internet in Asia could have positive economic effects that reverberate throughout the region.

"Internet – and particularly broadband Internet – has become a key tool for social and economic development, and needs to be prioritized, even in the world’s poorest nations," ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure said in a statement last year.

Israel, a fast-growing tech startup hub, jumped into fifth place in the Akamai ranking, thanks to a 55 percent improvement compared with the same period in 2012. The rest of the top 10 was comprised of smaller European countries.

Check out Bloomberg's list of the top 20 places to find the world's fastest Internet based on Akamai's findings. To our readers in the U.S. and the U.K., don't get your hopes up.

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