Australia’s average Internet connection speeds dropped marginally in the third quarter of last year compared to the second quarter – by 1.8% to be exact – but despite this a newly published global report shows that year-on-year Australia recorded a 25% increase in speed.

According to the latest State of the Internet report from global cloud services provider Akamai, the figures from Q3 2014 put Australia at 44th position globally for average Internet connection speeds – down three positions from Q2 2014.

Peak connection speeds in Australia averaged 36.0Mbps, representing a 2.1% decrease quarter-over-quarter, while peak speeds increased 22% year-on-year.

The report reveals that in Q3 2014 Australia’s average connection speeds were recorded at 6.9 Mbps, representing a 1.8% decrease quarter-over-quarter.

On broadband connectivity (above 4Mbps), Akamai says Australia ranked in 47th position, down three positions from the previous quarter, and the percentage of broadband connectivity (above 4 Mbps) was recorded at 66% (a 0.6 % increase quarter-on-quarter). Year-on-year changes saw a 28% increase in Australia compared to the same period in 2013.

For high broadband connectivity (above 10Mbps), Australia remained in 40th position globally, down two positions from the previous quarter, while the percentage of connectivity recorded above 10 Mbps in Australia was 14%, down 6.5% quarter-on-quarter. Year-on-year changes saw a 76% increase in Australia compared to the same period in 2013.

The Akamai report also reveals other statistics on Internet usage in Australia, including:

Situational Performance

•    The average page load time for broadband in Australia was recorded at 4230 (ms). Last quarter, this was recorded at 3544 (ms)

•    The average page load time for mobile in Australia was recorded at 4799 (ms), compared to 4551 (ms) last quarter

•    Japan recorded the shortest average page load time for broadband at 1430 (ms), while Mexico recorded the shortest average page load time for mobile at 1013 (ms).

•    4K Readiness* (<15 Mbps Connectivity)

•    Australia ranked in 36th position globally in terms of 4K readiness (above 15Mbps), down one position compared to the previous quarter

•    The percentage of connectivity recorded above 15 Mbps in Australia was 5.8%, down 13% quarter-on-quarter. Year-on-year changes saw a 85% increase in Australia compared to the same period in 2013.  

* With 4k adaptive bitrate streams generally requiring between 10–20 Mbps of bandwidth, the rankings presented within this section provide insight into the states most likely to be able to sustain such streams within this range. Note that the rankings presented here are not intended to specify who can/cannot view 4k content, but rather which states have higher concentrations of 4k “capable” connectivity, resulting in a larger complement of subscribers being able to enjoy a quality experience when streaming 4k content.

And, on security Akamai’s report reveals that Australia experienced 0.2% of attack traffic in Q3 2014, while New Zealand experience less than 0.1% attack traffic.

Global security highlights from the Akamai report include:

•    During the third quarter of 2014, Akamai observed attack traffic originating from source IP addresses in 201 unique countries/regions, up significantly from 161 in the second quarter, and more in line with the 194 seen in the first quarter

•    China remained well ahead of the other countries/regions in the top 10, originating nearly half of the observed attacks, nearly 3x more than the United States, which saw observed attack volume grow by approximately 25% quarter-over- quarter

•    China and the United States were the only two countries to originate more than 10% of observed attack traffic during the third quarter—the remaining countries/regions were all below 10%

•    Indonesia was the only country among the top 10 to see observed attack traffic decline, dropping significantly from 15% in the second quarter to 1.9% in the third quarter

•    The overall concentration of observed attack traffic decreased slightly in the third quarter, with the top 10 countries/regions originating 82% of observed attacks, down from 84% in the second quarter

•    Presumably related in part to the significant percentage decline seen in Indonesia, observed attack traffic concentration from the Asia Pacific region dropped to 64% in the third quarter, down from 70% in the previous quarter

•    North America had the next highest concentration, at 19% of observed attacks (comprised mostly of attacks originating in the United States), up from 14% last quarter, while Europe remained steady at 11% of observed attacks

•    South America and Africa both originated less than 10% of observed attacks, responsible for 5% and 1% respectively.

DDoS Attacks
•    In the third quarter of 2014, the number of DDoS attacks reported to Akamai by customers remained consistent, with 270 attacks reported for the second quarter in a row

•    Overall, this represents a 4.5% reduction in attacks since the beginning of 2014 and a 4% decrease in comparison to the third quarter of 2013

•    Despite the increase in size and frequency of network layer attacks higher layer attacks against applications and Web properties remain a steady problem

•    The number of attacks fell in both the Americas, with 142 attacks, and in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region, with 44 attacks

•    Meanwhile, the number of attacks in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region rose by 25% from the previous quarter, which brought the total number of attacks in the APAC region to 84 for the third quarter

•    This represents an 18% increase from the same quarter in 2013, when 71 attacks against targets in the region were reported.

DDoS Attacks by Industries
•    The third quarter saw a significant redistribution of the industries targeted by attacks, with both Enterprise and Media & Entertainment experiencing an increase in the number of attacks, while all other industries experienced fewer attacks

•    Commerce dropped 15%, from 78 to 66 attacks, while the High Tech vertical dropped from 42 attacks to 34, a 19% decrease

•    The largest decline was seen in Public Sector, with a 27% decrease in reported attacks, from 30 to 22.

Other Security Observation
•    The third quarter of 2014 was dominated by the Shellshock vulnerabilities and attack activity targeting Web sites critical to coverage of the World Cup

•    Akamai also saw an increase in the use of attack tools like Blackshades rat and the Spike DDoS toolkit

•    The third quarter was also notable for DDoS attacks targeting vulnerabilities in Linux systems.