TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is now ranked as having the fastest internet in the world in the "Global League" rankings created by an online website builder review platform.
The Daily Mail on Thursday (Feb. 20) cited researchers at WebsiteToolTester who ranked Taiwan tops in the world with an average download speed of 85 megabits per second (Mbps). With such blistering speed, the researchers estimated web users in Taiwan on average can download a five-gigabyte movie in just eight minutes.
Trailing Taiwan was Singapore in second place, with the British island of Jersey, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Norway rounding out the top 10. Researchers found that 18 of the 25 countries with the fastest internet speeds were in Europe, while the average internet speed in the world has increased from 9 Mbps in 2017 to 11 Mbps in 2019.
The results of the study were compiled from speed tests submitted by people from around the globe. The authors claimed that "billions of tests" were analyzed to generate the Global League rankings.
One of the admitted pitfalls of their methodology was that many web users tend to run speed tests only when they are having a problem rather than when everything is running smoothly. Such problems could be the result of slow WiFi or issues with the connection in their home instead of the actual speed generally available in a given country.
"This is why the country averages will appear lower than you might expect when compared to first-hand experience," wrote the authors. Nevertheless, they argued that because every country has users who encounter slowdowns, "the comparative placement in the global league is relatively sound" and including the flaws makes for a more realistic report.
The study found that Taiwan's internet speed had increased by 147 percent between 2017 and 2019. As for the explanation for Taiwan's rise to the top, WebsiteToolTester CEO Robert Brandl was cited by the Daily Mail as saying "It’s interesting to see business hubs such as Taiwan and Singapore, mixed in with smaller countries such as Jersey in the top countries leading the way for fast internet speeds."
Brandl said that Taiwan's internet speeds have increased in recent years because it is key for growth given the country's reliance on the IT industry. "High-tech is Taiwan’s most critical industry, contributing to 18 percent of the country’s GDP, with electronic manufacturing companies making up the bulk of the sector," he stated.
According to the report, the Taiwanese government has invested heavily in strengthening its digital infrastructure to provide high internet speeds for its companies. The authors listed the "cross-border online shopping trade" as a big growth area in Taiwan and mentioned massive government measures being taken to build a "digital economy that encompasses digital media and e-services."
With its "Great Firewall," China came in 161st place, just behind Bangladesh and one notch ahead of Nicaragua. Yemen came in last place overall with a snail-like speed of 300 Kbps, not quite a third of a megabit and even pokier than 3G mobile internet.