Want the high definition version of the movie Battleship? It could be yours in about four minutes, at the peak broadband internet speed enjoyed in Hong Kong - the fastest in the world.
The top recorded speed of 54.1 megabits per second was documented in Hong Kong in the third quarter of 2012, according to the State of the Internet report issued by Akamai Technologies yesterday.
No country previously had gone beyond 50 Mbps. The figure is based on average peak speed across the population of users of traffic registered by Akamai.
"It wouldn't have been possible without changes in policy earlier to force competition between internet service providers," Edmon Chung Wang-on, chief executive of DotAsia, and vice chairman of the Internet Society of Hong Kong, said yesterday.
"Without the competitive environment we wouldn't have such a good network at such a low cost. Before there were only a couple of providers, and when the new guy came in things started to move."
Chung said much of the credit went to the Hong Kong Internet eXchange for making it cheaper for different internet service providers to share content.
Normally providers would need to pay to access an outside network's traffic, but the exchange, based at Chinese University, provided a place where they could share traffic more quickly and cheaply.
"Even through we think of the internet as being global, the flow of traffic is much more local," Chung said. "We're more likely to visit the SCMP, rather than CNN, so fast local connectivity is a big contributing factor."
The exchange connects to 190 different networks in Hong Kong and overseas, including major content providers like Google and Yahoo.
South Korea recorded the second-fastest speed of 48.8 Mbps, while Japan at third had a peak download speed of 42.2 Mbps. China in comparison has a peak average of 7.1 Mbps.
While Hong Kong might have the highest peak speed, South Korea leads the table for fastest average speed at 14.7 Mbps. Japan came in second at 10.5 Mbps, while Hong Kong is at 9.0 Mbps. China averages about 1.6 Mbps.
Akamai estimates that a billion Internet users connect to its platforms each quarter.
Its quarterly State of the Internet report includes information on broadband connection speeds, attack traffic, network connectivity, traffic patterns across major websites and digital media providers, broadband adoption and mobile connectivity.