UK lags on IPv6 uptake, but broadband adoption rates improving

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European nations are leading the way on iPv6 adoption, according to new figures released by internet services firm Akamai, with one notable exception: the UK is conspicuously absent from the list of those leading the adoption of IPv6.

The figures were part of Akamai’s newly released State of the Internet report for Q1 2014, which gives a snapshot of global internet connection speeds and other statistics.

In the report, Akamai shows that European nations are leading the way for IPv6 adoption, taking eight of the 10 positions in its list of the countries with the largest percentage of content requests made over IPv6 via Akamai during Q1.

Belgium is the overall leader, with an impressive 14 percent of internet traffic using IPv6, which represents a 200 percent quarter-on-quarter growth. Akamai attributes this to additional IPv6 deployment by telecoms firm Telenet.

The US comes in sixth position with 6.2 percent of traffic, but the UK does not feature on the list, which ends with the Czech Republic at 2.1 percent of traffic. Even Peru and Romania are beating the UK on IPv6 adoption, both making it into the top 10.

The adoption of IPv6 has been an issue for several years now, with dire warnings that the number of addresses available for allocation under the existing IPv4 protocol will eventually be exhausted. Last month, Icann warned that it had begun allocating the last remaining blocks of IPv4 addresses to the five global Regional Internet Registries (RIRs).

Elsewhere in the report, Akamai highlights that average peak connection speeds for the UK have reached 42.2Mbps, which places the country 14th in the global table.

However, the average connection speed across the UK is a more modest 9.9Mbps, with the UK placed 15th in the table for this metric. Nevertheless, Akamai reports that high-speed broadband adoption rates have improved in the UK, with 32 percent of connections to its network being rated at 10Mbps or higher.

David Belson, the author of the Akamai report, said that the trends are positive, although there is still room for improvement in high-speed broadband adoption and average peak connection speeds in some areas of the world.

“Steady year-over-year growth suggests that a strong, global foundation is being built for the enjoyment of next-generation content and services like 4K video and increasingly connected homes and offices, and that connectivity will continue to evolve to support the growing demands these emerging technologies will place on the internet,” he said.

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