Switzerland has, by far, the fastest-connected population of nine countries examined by The Nielsen Company. Eighty-eight percent of Swiss consumers online at home connect at speeds greater than 2Mb, with 38% having a “super-fast” 8Mb-plus connection.
For purposes of this analysis, Nielsen divided internet connection speeds into four groups: “slow” (up to 512Kb), “medium” (512Kb – 2Mb), “fast” (2Mb – 8Mb) and “super-fast” (8Mb-plus).
19% of Web Users Have ‘Super-Fast’ Connections
In all but one of the nine countries measured, fast is now the most common connection speed and only a small percentage of people are on slow speeds. On average, across the nine countries, 19% of internet users connect at super-fast speeds, 47 percent at fast speeds, 26 percent at medium speeds and 8 percent are on slow speeds.
Only Brazil contradicts this trend with almost half (48%) of home internet users on medium connection speeds and almost one-third (31%) on slow speeds.
US, Germany Follow in Super-Fast Users
Following Switzerland, the US (29%) and Germany (27%) have the greatest concentration of people on super-fast connections. In fact, all three countries now have more people connecting at super-fast speeds than at medium speeds (512Kb to 2Mb).
Compared to the opposite end of the spectrum, Brazil has eight times more internet users on medium speeds (48%) than on super-fast speeds (6%).
Slow Speed Generally Has Small Impact on Web Time
Nielsen analysis shows in general, web users on the slowest speeds tend to spend the least time online at home. Only France and Germany negate the trend among the nine measured, and in six of the nine countries consumers using fast connections spend the most time online.
Switzerland shows the most linear pattern with the faster the speed, the more time spent online, as people using a super-fast connection (21 hours, 20 minutes) spend twice as much time online as people using a slow connection (10 hours, one minute). Italy is the only other country that follows this linear pattern, but the differences in time are much less noticeable.
In fact, for all the countries except Switzerland, the absolute differences in time across the different speeds are generally not that large. Only in Australia, the UK and Spain are there noticeable differences between those spending the least time online from home computers (people on slow connections) and those spending the most time (the fast connectors).
Fewer Women Online Spending More Time
Women account for slightly fewer than half of global internet users but spend more time online than men, according to a July 2010 study from comScore. “How Women Are Shaping the Internet” indicates that globally, women represent 46% of internet users age 18 and up. However, the average 15-plus female spends 8% more time online than her male counterpart. In April 2010, the global average was 24.8 hours per month for women, compared to 22.9 hours for men.