Sat, 20 Aug 2022

Turkmenistan has been recognized as the country with the slowest Internet in the world, with users needing almost a full day to download a movie.

Cable.co.uk said in a report on worldwide broadband speed in 2021 that Turkmenistan, with an Internet speed of 0.50 megabits per second (Mbps), was the slowest of all 224 countries surveyed, with it taking just over 22 hours and 34 minutes to download a movie file with a size of 5 gigabytes.

That puts the secretive and isolated Central Asian country behind even war-torn nations such as Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and Afghanistan in terms of Internet speed, the report showed.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has ruled his country with an iron first, tolerating little dissent while shutting it off from the outside world amid an economic crisis that has pushed many of its citizens into poverty.

The hard-line government in Ashgabat has stepped up control on people's access to information in recent years in an attempt to contain the message coming out of Turkmenistan about people's hardships, while also blocking any information coming from abroad that is critical of the Turkmen government.

Of the 11 former Soviet republics that are members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the research results showed the top three fastest nations were Russia (35.73 Mbps, 66th place overall), Ukraine (25.26 Mbps, 77th overall), and Belarus (19.86 Mbps, 92nd overall). Several other former Soviet satellites in Central Asia fared poorly in the survey, with Kazakhstan (5.83 Mbps, 173rd overall) and Tajikistan (1.82 Mbps, 211th overall) near the bottom of the list.

Three other former Soviet republics -- Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, all of which are now members of the European Union and NATO -- ranked in the top 40 nations. Estonia led the Baltic trio with an average speed of 84.72 Mbps, putting it 22nd overall in the world. Latvia ranked 33rd with a speed of 63.28 Mbps, while Lithuania followed closely, ranked with a speed of 56.17 Mbps, placing it 37th in the rankings.

In Eastern Europe, three countries with the fastest average Internet speed were Hungary (104.07 Mbps, 10th), Romania (67.40 Mbps, 29th) and Slovenia (67.20 Mbps, 30th). The slowest three were the Balkan nations of North Macedonia (15.38 Mbps, 107th), Albania (19.36 Mbps, 96th), and Kosovo (22.21 Mbps, 81st).

Cable.co.uk said the rankings were derived from over 1.1 billion speed tests taken in the 12 months leading up to June 30.

'Though the countries occupying the bottom end of the table still suffer from extremely poor speeds, 2021's figures do indicate that the situation is improving,' it said.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036

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