The 4K Readiness of broadband is rising, as 12% of the World’s internet connections become UHD capable

by on January 13, 2015

Stephan Jukic – January 13, 2015

4K streaming isn’t something that just any internet connection can handle without problems. Instead, it requires at least 15Mbps of connectivity, and that’s at an absolute minimum, with 20Mbps being the more widely suggested bandwidth.

Well, according to a recent “State of the Internet Report” by researchers at Akamai, at least 19% of U.S households are ready for 4K because they have access to at least 15Mbps and worldwide, the percentage is at least 12%.

Thus, while 4K content may still be in relatively short supply, the number of potential customers is growing steadily, considering that the worldwide total with access to more than 15Mbps wast at less than 10% just last year.

The report was put together in the third quarter of 2014 and based on the bitrate of measurements for connections to Akamai itself, so its overall findings may be somewhat biased in that regard.

Considering that other reports have also emerged which claim that U.S based internet accounts with access to more than 15Mbps of bandwidth total up to at least 59% of all connections, there is some cause for speculation as to what the real level of connectivity with 4K readiness is.

That small doubt taken into consideration, Akamai claims that global 4K readiness grew by 32% from its 2013 figure in 2014 and that certain countries such as South Korea, Hong Kong and Switzerland were the leaders in percentages of households with enough connectivity for 4K. The readiness of each of these was estimated to be at 66%, 37% and 30% respectively.

Japan is also highly advanced when it comes to the readiness of its internet connections for 4K content, with 33% of households being capable of generating 15Mbps or more consistently.


Internet connecivity powerful enough for 4K is growing particularly fast in select Asian markets

Internet connecivity powerful enough for 4K is growing particularly fast in select Asian markets

Other European states are also well ahead of the U.S in terms of their high velocity connectivity figures. The Netherlands, Latvia, and Sweden were all found to have 4K ready connectivity that reached 29% of their web connections and both Belgium and Norway were at 21%.

By comparison, just 19% of U.S connections deliver 15Mbps or more of sustained speed according to Akamai’s 2014 report and the figures for Canada were even lower, at 15%.

In terms of specific U.S states, certain regions did much better than others. Delaware was a U.S leader for 4K readiness with 39% of all its connections being 4K ready as of late 2014. Close behind follow Connecticut at 31%, Massachusetts at 29% and Washington with 27% 4K readiness.

Akamai’s research is now also focusing on 4K streaming services as they begin to grow. U.S-based companies that are being looked at by the research from Akamai include DirecTV and Comcast, which have both recently introduced fairly limited but growing 4K content streams, and the Dish Network, which only recently outlined its plans for initial 4K deliveries at CES 2015 last week.

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