The UK barely rates on content distributor Akamai's "state of the internet" report, despite successive governments' pledges to "digitise" Britain.
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The UK was sixth in terms of internet penetration, with 20.1 million unique IP addresses, but behind Germany (31.0 million) and France (27.5 million), and far behind leaders US (129.4 million) and China (57.8 million).
The UK's internet penetration annual growth rate is also lower than in Germany or France, at 6.9% compared to 8.6% and 15% respectively. Of the top 10 internet countries, only Canada has a slower growth rate, at 4.1%.
Akamai bases its figures on traffic and content detected by its systems, which touch every country with an IP address.
It found the average global internet connection speed, after stripping out known mobile operators (because mobile transmissions are slower than fixed transmissions), was 4.7Mbps. This was a full megabyte faster than a year ago, but reflected a quarterly decline.
Figure 1: Connection speed by region/country
"It is not immediately clear what is causing the observed decline," Akamai said. But it suspected that operators had throttled streamed video of the Winter Olympics, lowering average throughput rates.
South Korea (12Mbps), Hong Kong (9Mbps) and Japan (7.9Mbps) offered the highest average connection speeds. But Japan's cities, with an average connection speed of 60Mbps, were way ahead of cities in South Korea (12Mbps) and the US (12Mbps).
South Korea also led the world in fast (>5Mbps) broadband connections with 65%. It was followed by Japan (60%) and Rumania (48%).
Figure 2: Attack traffic top ports
Akamai also tracks internet-borne threats. It said every country in the world (198) was a source of attacks, but Russia, the US and China were the most used, accounting for 12%, 10% and 9.1% of malware traffic respectively.
Port 445 was the most popular target, and the top 10 target ports accounted for 95% of attacks.