Internet cafe
Difference in average internet speed between India and South Korea has widened from 24 Mbps to around 26 Mbps for the June 2016 quarter, says an Akamai survey. In Picture: Customers use computers at an internet cafe in Taiyuan, Shanxi province June 29, 2009.Reuters

India falls below the Philippines in the global ranking of countries based on internet speed, according to a survey by Akamai.

India has been ranked at 114 in Akamai's latest survey on internet speed worldwide for the period April-June 2016 . The country's average internet broadband speed is 3.5 Mbps. India's rank remains unchanged when compared to the previous quarter ended March 2016.

While internet penetration has been improving in India, the country's internet speed lags far behind compared to its Asian counterparts. The report also notes that the difference in speed between India and South Korea has widened from 24 Mbps to around 26 Mbps quarter-on-quarter.

The company surveyed 15 countries in the Asia Pacific region. Around 86.6 percent (13 countries) had an average speed above 4 Mbps. South Korea tops the worldwide ranking with 29 Mbps speed, which is more than four times the global average of 6.3 Mbps.

However, the report indicates that India has improved in average speed and peak-time speed compared to the previous quarter. The country's speed has increased from 2.8 Mbps in January-March 2016 to 3.5 Mbps in the June 2016 quarter. India's peak connection speed, which denotes the highest upload/download speed, has increased from 21.2 Mbps to 25.5 Mbps in the last quarter.

While the Asia-Pacific average of broadband speed is 4Mbps, in India only 23 percent of the total broadband connections account for the above speed level.

Currently, India is focused on increasing the number of people who have access to internet. BharatNet project in India aims to provide internet to around 2.5 lakh panchayats in rural parts through optic fibre network.

As per the latest figures reported by Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha in Parliament, there are as many as 342 million internet subscribers in India. While urban India has 231 million internet subscribers, rural India has 112 million people with internet access. Given the total rural population of 1,210 million people, only 9.3 percent has internet access. This leaves much room for India to grow in terms of internet subscribers.

The bigger challenge for internet service providers and telecom authority in the country is to catch up with the rising average internet speed in the continent.

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