The internet isn’t particularly fast anywhere in China, but if you’re looking for a fast connection, all provinces are not created equal. The folks at ChinaCache run a real-time internet speed monitor so you can check whose internets have the biggest tubes at any given time, but the group has also released a perhaps more useful report with the average connection speed in each of China’s provinces over the first six months of 2012.
You won’t be too shocked to see that Shanghai’s internet is the fastest (yes, Shanghai is a city but it’s administrated like a province due to its size, as are several other major Chinese cities), but there are some surprises here. Anhui, one of China’s poorest provinces, apparently enjoys relatively fast internet, and the spread between the best (Shanghai) and the worst (Xinjiang) is a bit wider than you might have expected. Shanghaiers, it seems, enjoy double the connection speeds of net users in far-flung Xinjiang.
CORRECTION: The title in the graph below should read “provinces”, not “cities”.
From this, it’s clear Telecom’s fastest connections are faster than Unicom’s — look at those Shanghai numbers — but Telecom also has a wider spread. It’s also interesting to note that China Unicom apparently has faster broadband in Tibet than it does in Beijing. It’s hard to imagine the giant mountains in Tibet make laying broadband cables easier, so we’re not sure exactly why that would be the case.
In any event, it’s definitely interesting to look at this data, which provides the most compelling reason I’ve seen to date to move to Shanghai. (Even so, I’m still never moving to Shanghai). As I previously mentioned, ChinaCache also offers real-time connection speed data on this site, so if you’re curious who’s winning the broadband speed race at any given moment, all you have to do is check.
[ChinaCache via Sina Tech]