US citizens might automatically think they have the fastest internet connections in the world. Indeed, many of them comfortably play online video games or stream videos efficiently. However, it might come as a surprise the T1 connections and better infrastructure of smaller countries result in higher overall internet speeds. In fact, many of the larger countries have slower speeds because internet infrastructure is easier to implement in smaller geographies. As of April 2012, the following countries had the fastest internet speeds.
1. Hong Kong
The small city-state on China’s coast isn’t as well known for its internet speeds as it is for its bright lights and tall building, but perhaps it should be. With nearly 40-megabit per second speeds on average, Hong Kong residents experience internet speeds that many rural Americans can only dream of having. Downloading a typical song can take as little as one second at this speed and video calls remain high-quality, which is great news for any business that operates in the area.
The tiny Baltic county of Lithuania might be even further from the public’s mind than Hong Kong. Still, it manages to offer an impressive mean download speed just shy of 33 MBps to its internet users. This isn’t surprising, considering that, as the first country to break from the former Soviet Union, this country experienced a quick growing economy. Some things have slowed down since the financial crisis of 2007, but not Lithuania’s blazing internet speeds.
3. South Korea
Aside from being in contentious relations with its neighbor to the north, the nation of South Korea offers high-speed internet — over 27 Mbps, thanks to fiber optics. In fact, South Korea was the first country to bring fiber optic internet service to every primary and secondary school classroom.
The next speediest country, Latvia, is another near the Baltic sea. Although many users don’t access the internet from home, Latvian businesses can certainly benefit from speeds just over 26 Mpbs. Additionally, the prices for ADSL have consistently dropped over the last ten years.
Over half of the internet connections in the area once known as Transylvania are broadband. Optical fiber services are available from over 300 companies, and cable, DSL, and satellite internet are also readily available in this county. Despite Romania’s notoriously depressed economy, it has quickly passed up many of its neighboring countries in terms of internet speeds and ranks highly on multiple speed lists.