More internet users and faster data speeds

Nov. 26, 2021
by Mark Ollig

Trusting a source providing internet statistics can be questionable.

However, having Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, reference an internet statistics website helps alleviate many doubts.

In 1990, he wrote the software code application for the first web browser and named it WorldWideWeb.app.

Not long ago, Berners-Lee posted a message over Twitter, citing statistical internet data from https://www.internetlivestats.com.

Data from the same website is also used by the World Wide Web Consortium, World Wide Web Foundation, BBC News, Kaspersky Lab, and your humble Bits & Bytes columnist.

Statistical data is gleaned from more than 250 sources, using an advanced algorithm to oversee its accuracy. One source is the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations specialized agency for information and communications technologies.

“We are an international team of developers, researchers, and analysts with the goal of making statistics available in a dynamic and time relevant format to a wide audience around the world,” the website affirmed in its mission statement.

While looking through many separate groups of continually changing statistical internet peg counters, the current number of internet users in the world is listed at 5,116,500,000. The planet’s population is estimated to be 7.9 billion, meaning nearly 65% of the world can access the internet.

The ranking of countries with the highest number of internet users has not changed much over the past few years.

With 1.4 billion people, China is leading with 854 million internet users, followed by India, which has a population of 1.3 billion and 560 million internet users. The US, with a population of 330 million, has 313 million internet users.

The number of internet users worldwide has been steadily increasing.

Reasons given for the increased number of people using the internet include having accessibility to mobile devices, smartphones, and access to computers having an internet connection due to more countries upgrading their communication networks.

Other factors cited are continuous installations of broadband networks and fiber-optic submarine cables worldwide by major global internet and communication service providers.

Another contributing factor is the coronavirus requiring people to use the internet while working from home.

The top countries with the fastest average fixed broadband internet speeds as of May are:

1. Monaco, 262 Mbps.

2. Singapore, 255 Mbps.

3. Hong Kong (China), 255 Mbps.

4. Romania, 232 Mbps.

5. Switzerland, 230 Mbps.

6. Denmark, 228 Mbps.

7. Thailand, 224 Mbps.

8. Chile, 217 Mbps.

9. France, 214 Mbps.

10. South Korea, 212 Mbps.

The US has an average fixed broadband internet speed of 204 Mbps.

The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) definition of broadband speed is a minimum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. The FCC defined these speeds in 2015.

It will soon be 2022. FCC regulators need to revise minimum broadband data speeds dramatically; upwards to meet the needs of small businesses, schools, and work-at-home users.

Ookla has been around since 2006, and is a well-known internet speed testing specialist. They report the global average download speed on fixed broadband as of September 2021 was 113.25 Mbps. The average download speed on a mobile device was 63.15 Mbps.

Both are notable improvements over the scores of 85.73 Mbps broadband, and 35.96 Mbps mobile just one year earlier in September 2020.

Being curious, I ran an Ookla cellular data speed test from my 5G smartphone with its local Wi-Fi connection disabled. The results showed a download speed of 65.5 Mbps and an upload speed of 12.1 Mbps.

You can run internet speed tests from your mobile smartdevices or home computer at https://www.speedtest.net.

The speed test app for your Android and iOS device can be downloaded at https://www.speedtest.net/apps/android and https://www.speedtest.net/apps/ios, respectively.

I also ran the speed test on the work computer connected to my employer’s network. The download speed was 1.1207 Gbps, and the upload showed 149.59 Mbps.

With continued improvements in technology, computing devices, and communication networks, the data speed of fixed broadband and future “G” cellular mobile devices will continue to get faster.

Be sure to check out the Bits & Bytes weblog at https://bitscolumn.blogspot.com.

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