Akamai might not be a household name but between 15 to 30 percent of the world's Web traffic is carried on the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company's internet platform at any given time. Using data gathered by software constantly monitoring internet conditions via the company's nearly 100,000 servers deployed in 72 countries and spanning most of the networks within the internet, Akamai creates its quarterly State of the internet report. The report provides some interesting facts and figures, such as regions with the slowest and fastest connection speeds, broadband adoption rates and the origins of attack traffic.

As in last year's report, the top ten countries accounted for nearly 70 percent of the more than 584 million unique IP addresses connecting to the Akamai internet platform. Once again, the U.S. is way out in front with just over 142.6 million unique IP addresses, followed by China with just over 73.5 million and Japan with 41.2 million. Germany, France, South Korea, the U.K., Brazil, Italy and Spain round out the top ten, with Italy making its entry this quarter at the expense of Canada.

Fast, faster, fastest

Globally, average connection speeds are up 23 percent on last year to 2.1 Mbps. South Korea is out in front with an average connection speed of 14.4 Mbps, with Hong Kong (9.2), Japan (8.1), Netherlands (7.5) and Romania (6.6), rounding out the top five. The U.S. comes in at 14 with an average connection speed of 5.3 Mbps, which is a 14 percent increase on last year and a 4.7 percent increase on last quarter.

At the other end of the scale is Lebanon, where 61 percent of connections are below 256 kbps. This is compared to the global average of 3.3 percent and the U.S., where 2 percent of connections are below 256 kbps.

Unsurprisingly, the list of the 100 cities offering the fastest average connection speeds are dominated by Asia with 61 cities in Japan, five cities in South Korea and Hong Kong. Japan also boasts eight cities in the top ten, including the number one position with Tokai at an average speed of 13.2 Mbps, with South Korea taking up the remaining two top ten positions.

The fastest European city is Lyse, Norway, which comes in at number 33 with an average speed of 8.1 Mbps, while Riverside, California and Staten Island, New York, were the top placed of the 18 U.S. cities, coming in at number 39 and 40 with an average speed of 7.8 Mbps.

The U.S. state offering the highest average connection speed of 7.5 Mbps was Delaware, followed by Rhode Island (6.8), Wisconsin and New Hampshire(6), Connecticut (5.9), Indiana (5.8), Maine and Virginia (5.7) and California and Utah (5.6).

Mobile

The report also analyzed mobile internet consumption and now includes data collected by Ericsson thanks to a recently announced partnership. Overall mobile traffic, as measured by Ericsson, experienced 130 percent yearly growth in the first quarter of 2011, and is now more than double the volume of voice traffic.

Average connection speeds for known mobile providers worldwide ranged from a low of 163 kbps to a high of just over 6 Mbps. A service provider in Poland was identified as delivering the fastest average mobile connection speed.

Attack Traffic

One of the biggest changes uncovered in the Q1 2011 report related to sources of attack traffic with Myanmar debuting with a bullet and making its first appearance on the list at number one, generating 13 percent of attack traffic during the survey period. The U.S. also climbed from fifth to second on the list accounting for 10 percent of observed global attack traffic. Russia accounted for 7.7 percent of attack traffic, down from 10 percent last quarter. Italy again held the top spot for attack traffic originating from mobile networks, accounting for 25 percent of attack traffic for Q1, 2011.

A number of tables and graphs from the report can be viewed in our image gallery and the latest and previous Akamai State of the internet reports can be downloaded here (requires free registration).