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Kenya loses MEA top spot for connection speeds

Kenya loses MEA top spot for connection speeds

The 10th edition of CDN and cloud services provider Akamai Technologies' State of the Internet Report shows that Kenya is no longer in first place across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region for average connection speeds. Qatar and Israel led the region in the first quarter of 2017 ahead of Kenya, according to the report.

The latest findings reveal that the average connection speed of 13.7 Mbps posted by the two leading countries is almost 12 Mbps higher than that seen in Egypt which came is as the MEA country with the slowest speeds among the countries surveyed. The gap between the top- and bottom-ranked MEA countries was 13 Mbps in the previous quarter.

"Quarterly changes among the MEA countries were mixed, with five countries posting gains. These ranged from 0.1% in Turkey to 15% in Qatar. Among the eight countries seeing quarter-over-quarter declines, the United Arab Emirates had the biggest loss at 20%, while Morocco had the smallest at 0.4%," details the report.

The data also found that year-on-year changes in the MEA region were mostly positive with only Egypt and the United Arab Emirates seeing connection speed declines of 19% and 2.2%, respectively.

"Kenya and Qatar had the largest yearly increases, as their average connection speeds jumped 67% and 64% respectively, while Israel posted the smallest gain at 1.4%."

The rest of the listing for Average Connection Speed (IPv4) among MEA Country places the UAE in fourth place after Kenya in third place. Kuwait is fifth, Turkey sixth while the next African country is South Africa in seventh position. Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Iran complete the top ten.

Nigeria, Namibia and Egypt round off the full list of countries that qualified to be surveyed in eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth place respectively.

A country or region needs to have more than 25,000 unique IPv4 addresses with average connection speeds that meet the given speed threshold to qualify for inclusion in a speed tier according to Akamai.

Internet shutdowns grab attention

David Belson, ‎Senior Director for Industry & Data Intelligence at Akamai Technologies counts the Egyptian government's 2011 move to shut down almost all of the country's access to the global internet in response to civil unrest as one of the most notable events since Akamai started publishing its reports.

"These topics (like internet shutdowns) have formed the foundation of the State of the Internet Report over the last nine years, and we expect that they will become even more important over the coming decade. Of course, we will work to continue to provide relevant and actionable data related to these topics within the reports, as well as through expanded and new data visualizations..."

Akamai's release of data tracking internet use in Cameroon functioned as an early alert to a shutdown that lasted for more than three months in the Northwest and Southwest regions. Akamai shared illustrations on social media showing that traffic to the country first dropped sharply at around 20:45 UTC on 17 January 2017.

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