More Evidence Why the Cloud Computing Sell-Off Makes No Sense

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You've got a problem, cloud computing skeptics. Connections to Akamai Technologies' (Nasdaq: AKAM  ) global network for delivering Internet data grew 20% annually in the third quarter, according to its latest State of the Internet report.

Akamai observed 533 million unique IP addresses from 235 countries and regions during Q3, and in turn touched an estimated 1 billion users. Some additional findings from the report:

  • Peak connection speeds rose 35% annually thanks in part to new 4G WiMAX and LTE technologies from the likes of Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR  ) .
  • The U.S. and China still comprise 38% of IP addresses, but China's aggregate connections grew 30% to add 15 million unique IPs. No wonder Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU  ) continues to grow so fast.
  • Mobile networks have the most work to do in speeding content delivery, especially now that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) has entered the tablet wars with an attractive iPad alternative and unleashed cheap Android phones across the world. Akamai found mobile speeds ranged from as little as 400 kilobits per second to as much as 20 megabits per second.

As an investor, I'm heartened to see the desktop Internet maturing. Executives must feel the same way. Having consistent, fast delivery to the desktop increases the chances of Corporate America doing more business in the cloud.

Consumer America is a different story. A mobile society also wants consistent, fast connectivity. Yet judging from Akamai's findings, they aren't getting it. Neither from AT&T (NYSE: T  ) , nor Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , nor T-Mobile, nor anyone else.

That has to change sometime. I believe we'll see mobile network improvements this year with LTE rollouts from both Big Red and Old Ma. But on the desktop, the fast and the furious have already arrived -- with a patch of cloud computing cover in tow. Business will never be the same.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. What do you think of Akamai's Q3 State of the Internet report? Use the comments section below to explain your thinking. You can also rate Akamai in Motley Fool CAPS.

What will be the big trends of the next five years? We asked our top equity analysts that question and they came back with five stocks we've put real money behind. We profile all five picks in a new special report. Get instant access by clicking here -- it's free.

Interested in more info on the stocks mentioned in this story? Add Akamai, Baidu, Clearwire, Google, AT&T or Verizon to your watchlist.

Akamai, Baidu, and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Akamai and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is done for the day. Finally.

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