How We Use The Internet

Published on Apr 02, 2019

It is widely known that the United Kingdom was involved in the early research and development of the internet, although the United States of America was driving the project and provided the funding, the UK played a crucial part. Tim Berners-Lee, Peter Thomas Kirstein and Donald Watts Davies are some of the names that stick out when you talk about the development of the internet. I wonder what they would think about how we use the internet today?

To help answer this and other questions such as What country produces the most traffic? How fast is our internet speed? Are we at the front of the internet advances or the back? Let’s having a quick look at what the average person uses their phone and the internet for.

The top 5 activities for mobile devices are: 1 maps, 2 instant messaging, 3 music, 4 photos and 5 weather. You could say we all like to find a nice place to take a good photo while listening to music and then tell everybody about your activity and today’s weather.

Despite the UK having one of the fastest and longest physical internet lines in the world (England to USA) I find it hard to fathom why our internet speeds are so slow and why our ISP bang on about speed so much when in reality the UK is badly served. Have you ever connected to the internet in the UK? It’s really slow. If your living in the UK I bet you have experienced video buffering when streaming and I bet if you have ever complained to you IPS provider they tell you to turn your router off and on again or the buffering is due to peak hours. I think this is a load of twaddle, peak hours? We are in 2019 not 1999.

As of January 2019 the top 5 countries with the fastest average fixed line internet speeds are: Singapore with 189.38 MBPS, Iceland with 147.13 MBPS, Hong Kong with 139.58 MBPS, Romania with 107.42 and South Korea with 103.51, these are all great speeds to be averaging in 2019. The United Kingdom on the other hand averages a miserable 55.14 MBPS this is not a good speed to be averaging in 2019. I didn’t expect Romania or Iceland to have such a good fixed line average. The top average mobile internet speed range from 63.13 MBPS to 48.64 MBPS and again the UK does not appear on the top 10 list. Forget BREXIT, this is INTERNEXIT!

In Singapore you could download and fill up a 120GB hard drive in around 10 minutes that’s around 31,000 songs. In the UK it would take around 36 minutes with a download speed 55.14 MBPS but if you have a connection speed like mine it would take over an hour! Forget video and pictures!! Slow internet speed is a concern for e-commerce companies and anyone offering a web based service. 40% of all people will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load and 80% of all those people will never return. This won’t be solely down to website optimisation as internet speed will play apart, if the site you’re visiting doesn’t load you typically abandon the request and try again or try another website to see if that site loads. We briefly discussed this in a previous blog. This means that you cannot adopt the latest video formats and designs or up the graphics on your site – you are constrained by the ISP!! Basically you have to down size everything on your home page or landing to ensure the page will load within 3 seconds.

In the UK online shopping is big business the online shopping market per capita is around $4,000 which is pretty astonishing when you compared the UK internet speed and usage to USA. There must be some patient shoppers in the UK. I sourced a list of the apparent top websites visited in the UK. Considering online retail shopping brings in some much online revenue it doesn’t seem to bring much traffic. The top 20 Google- YouTube - Facebook - Amazon - BBC Online - Wikipedia - eBay UK - Reddit - Twitter - Live - Netflix - Twitch TV - Instagram - Office - Yahoo - Pornhub - The Lad Bible - VK - The Guardian - Live Jasmin. If you look closely you will see a lot of free service providers who use their free website space on their platform for marketing. This product marketing is done through your search history and cookies.

Quick tip = how to clear cookies?

It’s reported most people in the UK prefer to use a desktop rather a mobile device or tablet, care to take a guess at the sites most visited on a mobile device or tablet? Around 51% of people use desktop computer or laptop when surfing the web this fallen by 3% in recent years whereas 36% is from smart phone this is expected to grow. I know you don’t need fast internet to purchase clothes etc online but considering the market value VS internet speed this is quite low. However new VR tech is on the way and augmented sales channels – how will the UK stack up then?

By 2021 it’s predicted there will be 3.8 billion active smartphone devices and with Asian owning half of those devices. 61.09% of all web traffic from Asian is from mobile devices whereas Europe’s mobile web traffic only consists of 37.08% to the overall internet usage.

Over 20 years ago, in 1992, global Internet networks carried approximately 100 GB of traffic per day. Ten years later, in 2002, global Internet traffic amounted to 100 Gigabytes per second (GBps). In 2016, global Internet traffic reached more than 20,000 GBps. That’s an astonishing leap. Check out our earlier blog on data.

If you’re like me and fed with your slow internet get hold of Margot James, Margot is the minister of digital and the creative industries in the UK.

Posted in blog on Apr 02, 2019