North Korea Internet speed among slowest in the world

Slow data transfer rates provide a contrast to South Korea, which ranked No. 1 in a recent survey.

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korea Internet speed among slowest in the world
North Koreans wait outside the border crossing between North Korea and Dandong, China's largest border city with North Korea, in Liaoning Province. North Korea's Internet speed is one of the world's lowest, according to a ranking from Akamai Technologies. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, June 8 (UPI) -- North Korea's Internet speed doesn't rank dead last, but it borders on the bottom.

An annual survey of the Internet from Akamai Technologies, the content services provider based in Cambridge, Mass., ranked Pyongyang's data delivery 134th out of 170 countries, Voice of America reported Wednesday.


South Korea Internet speed, by contrast, rose to the No. 1 position, ranking above Sweden, Norway and Japan in the survey based on a fourth quarter report from the company.

The average Internet speed globally is 5.6 megabits per second but North Korea's Internet speed clocked at 2.0 Mbps, according to the survey.

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Mbps is a unit of data transfer that measures the amount of data that gets transmitted per second. An Internet speed of 2.0 Mbps means about 0.24 megabytes of information can be delivered per second.

At that rate, simple Internet browsing and email transmissions are possible, but the viewing of high-definition movies is less likely, according to the report.

South Korea's Internet speed is 26.7 Mbps. No. 2 Sweden clocked at 19.1 Mbps, followed by Norway at 18.8 Mbps and Japan at 17.4 Mbps.

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The United States also ranked high on the list, with a 14.2 Mbps data transfer rate, which was higher than Russia's 11.6 Mbps.


China's Internet speed was slower than both superpowers – and at 4.1 Mbps was lower than the global average.

Countries with a lower Internet speed than North Korea include Cuba, Venezuela, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nepal, East Timor and other countries in Africa and the Middle East.

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North Korea's Internet access for the general population is limited to domestic sites, and the country continues to restrict access to the Internet and international phone lines, according to Amnesty International.

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