Akamai Technologies Inc. last week announced the release of its inaugural "State of the Internet" report.

Beginning with the January to March 2008 time period (first quarter), Akamai will be publishing a quarterly "State of the Internet" report extrapolated from data gathered across Akamai's global server network. This report will include data on the origins of attack traffic, network outages and de-peering events, as well as a look at broadband connectivity by geography. In addition to providing a quarterly summary, Akamai will document trends seen in this data over time.

The report will also aggregate publicly available news and information about notable events seen throughout the quarter, including denial of service attacks, Web site hacks, and network events.

During the first quarter of 2008, for example, Akamai observed attack traffic originating from 125 unique countries around the world. China and the United States were the two largest attack traffic sources, accounting for some 30 percent of this traffic in total. Akamai observed attack traffic targeted at 23 unique network ports. Many of the ports that saw the highest levels of attack traffic were targeted by worms, viruses and bots that spread across the Internet several years ago.

A number of major network "events" occurred during the first quarter that impacted millions of Internet users. At the end of January, undersea cable cuts in the Mediterranean Sea severed Internet connectivity between the Middle East and Europe, drastically slowing communications. De-peering events between major networks impacted Internet communications for selected Internet users in the United States and Europe for a two-week period. A routing change by a telecommunications provider spread across the Internet resulting in a popular Internet video sharing site to go offline for several hours.

From a global perspective, South Korea had the highest measured levels of "high broadband" (>5 Mbps) connectivity. In the United States, Delaware topped the list, with over 60 percent of connections to Akamai occurring at 5 Mbps or greater. At the other end of the bandwidth spectrum, Rwanda and the Solomon Islands topped the list of slowest countries, with 95 percent or more of the connections to Akamai from both countries occurring at below 256 Kbps. In the United States, Washington State and Virginia turned in the highest percentages of sub-256 Kbps connections. However, in contrast to the international measurements, these states only saw 21 and 18 percent of connections below 256 Kbps respectively.

The company is planning to release its second quarter "State of the Internet" report in August.