Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The state we're in

It's time for another installment in Akamai's ongoing series of quarterly reports on the state of the internet, catchily entitled, "The State of the Internet" (registration required, but it's worth it). It's the usual compendium of DNS hijacks, DDOS attacks, site hacks and other web nightmares, with a lot of connectivity data by country as well. Standouts which surprised me were that Japan tops the list of countries of origin for attacks this time (もーれつ!), and that Akamai's analysis seems to show no obvious correlation between percentage of high bandwidth users (defined as >5Mbps) and proportion of attacks. Most appalling to me, as a (lapsed) American is the revelation that 16% of internet users seen by Akamai in Washington D.C. appeared to have access speeds below 256k, i.e., on a par with Malaysia and a few points worse than Colombia. In an election year where the internet has proven to be such a powerful tool, to have nearly a fifth of people in the capitol of the world's (currently) most influential nation muddling through with glorified dial-up speeds (regardless of what the FCC says) is/should be the source of a profound sense of shame.

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