After dropping in the second quarter of 2009, global average internet speeds increased in Q3, according to Akamai’s State of the Internet report. The average global connection speed was 1.7 Mbps, returning the global average to first quarter levels. Nineteen percent of the world’s internet connections are 5 Mbps or greater. South Korea remained the country with the highest average speed, 14.6 Mbps, nearly twice the speed of the second fastest country, Japan, whose average connection was 7.9 Mbps. South Korea was also one of two countries in the top ten which posted quarterly gains of over 25 percent, joined by Ireland, whose year-over-year increase in speed was enormous, 73 percent.

The U.S. was 18th in overall speed with an average connection of 3.9 Mbps, a decline of 2.4 percent year-over-year. The good news is that the average U.S. connection speed increased 1.8 percent in Q3 2009.

In the U.S., the fastest states were Delaware (7.2 Mbps), New Hampshire (5.9 Mbps), Massachusetts (5.9 Mbps) and Vermont (5.7 Mbps).

Hawaii has the fastest growing connection speeds, jumping 40 percent year-over-year. The District of Columbia (16 percent) and three states saw quarterly increases of more than 15 percent.

Outweighing the gains, one-half of U.S. states saw declines in connection speed in Q3 2009, led by Kentucky, whose speeds declined a staggering 41 percent for the quarter.

The fastest U.S. cities were Sandy, UT (33464 Kbps), Iowa City, IA (27381 Kbps), Norman, OK (26793 Kbps) and Logan, UT (26717 Kbps).

China/Google has been the big news of the week. While China and the U.S. had been the biggest sources of internet attacks before Q3, that dubious distinction switched to Brazil and Russia.

By Mark Alvarez