Over time, internet speed has been improving all over the globe. On the other hand, bandwidth demands have also continued to increase, especially considering the popularity of gaming or video streaming.
So it is no surprise that lag is one of the things gamers dread to experience while playing. It is even worse for competitive gamers since a slow internet connection can mean the difference between a win and a loss, and even more so for those who compete globally.
In the last two years, the United States had held a stable rank between the 8th and 10th place for the Top 10 countries according to average internet speed. But according to SpeedTest, a web service that provides information about worldwide internet access performance metrics, the U.S. has just fallen out of the average Top 10 to the 11th position.
A Microsoft report from September 2019 stated that almost half of America does not have access to broadband internet speeds. Not only that, but the average internet speed, as well as the possibility to avoid lag in games, differ massively, especially in rural areas.
According to several other more recent reports, one of the reasons for the U.S. drop in rank concerns the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, broadband speeds have decreased for millions of American households, which might justify the dip in the average internet speed.
But even so, there are no less than 81 countries that average less than 25 Mbps and 24 other countries with less than 10 Mbps. Not to mention the fact that network latency can also affect the performance of a gamer, and to avoid lag in a game, a gamer requires an average latency of fewer than 30 milliseconds. Latency is a measure of delay, and in a network, it measures the time it takes for data to get to its destination across the Network.
A five-year, eight-country study published in 2013 by the Technology & Social Change Group at the University of Washington Information School found that access to fast and reliable internet was a crucial factor in synthesizing metrics that can further national advancement.
“Our study finds that many people in low- and middle-income countries, including the underemployed, women, rural residents and others, who are often marginalized, derive great benefits in such areas as education, employment, and health when they use computers and the Internet at public access venues,”Araba Sey, Information School Research Assistant Professor and Lead Investigator of the Study.
The U.S. might have slightly fallen behind as far as fast internet is concerned, but that does not mean that it shall remain so. The expansion of 5G networks might turn the tables in its favor, with the majority of Americans believing that 5G means a faster and more reliable connection, according to a survey by the consulting firm Sykes.
At the moment, the Top 10 countries by average internet speed are Singapore, Hong Kong, Romania, Switzerland, Thailand, Denmark, Andorra, France, Hungary, and Monaco.