A long time has passed since we had to choose between connecting to the internet and using the phone. But, though many can still vividly remember that time, things have changed fast.
Over the past 15 years, the average download volume has grown 200 times and, though dial-up was only able to transfer at 56 kbps, the fastest available equipment in the world is capable of handling speeds 178,571 times faster than that.
So where are the most future-ready countries and cities?
You may be surprised.
Fastest town/city in the UK
The fastest town in the UK is…Middlesbrough, with an average download speed of 34.46Mbps recorded in 2016.
14.9 Mbps is the average UK connection, meaning Middlesbrough enjoys nearly 2.5x the speed. The motto of the Council is “We shall be”.
Fastest Country in Europe
In less than two years, Norway went from having the slowest internet in Scandinavia (big deal), to being the fastest country in Europe. The country’s internet speed averages at 20.0 Mbps, taking over Sweden’s 19.7 Mbps.
Fastest City in Europe
London? Paris? Berlin? What’s the fastest city in Europe?
Some background first: at 14.9 Mbps, Romania has the same average internet speed as the UK. The main difference? The average peak speed is the fastest in Europe at 85Mbps.
So it comes as no surprise that Ploiesti, the 9th most populous city in Romania, is the fastest city in Europe with 102.35 Mbps average peak speed.
And when it comes to internet speed, Romania claims 9 of the fastest 15 cities in the world.
Fastest Country in the World
South Korea has been at the top of the list for many years now, currently averaging 26.3 Mbps.
About 45 million people in Korea, over 92.% of the population, are Internet users, showing how important connectivity already is there. The Government has actively promoted faster internet, making ADSL standard, and benefiting from the fact that most of the urban population lives in tall buildings.
Fastest City in the World
Though the city-state average internet speed is 18.2 Mbps, Singapore’s city centre enjoys a average peak speed of 162.0 Mbps, being the fastest city in the world.
Does all this matter?
Some of these speeds may sound futuristic. Maybe too much.
But that's the whole point. Having a national infrastructure that over delivers takes the lid off innovation, adapting to the needs of business and individuals, instead of the other way around.