UK ranked 31st for broadband speeds

New data, extracted by broadband recommendation site Cable.co.uk from over 63 million broadband speed tests worldwide has revealed that UK speeds are behind 30 other countries, with an average speed of 16.51Mbps.

The data was collected across the 12 months up to 10th May 2017 by M-Lab, a partnership between New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research, Princeton University’s PlanetLab, and other supporting partners, and compiled by Cable.co.uk.

The UK manages to trump 158 other countries, yet falls behind 30 others, coming in behind 20 European countries, 17 of which are in the European Union (EU).

The five fastest countries have download speeds around 40 times faster than the five slowest. Singapore tops the table at 55.13Mbps, compared to Yemen, which is more than 162 times slower at just 0.34Mbps.

Downloading an HD movie of 7.5GB in size would take 18 minutes and 34 seconds at the average speed experienced in table-topper Singapore, while it would take over two days in last-placed Yemen.

Twenty of the top 30 fastest-performing countries are located in Europe, with seven in Asia, two in North America and one in Oceania.

By contrast, 17 of the 30 slowest-performing countries are located in Africa, with seven in Asia, six in South America and one in Oceania.

139 countries failed to achieve average speeds above 10Mbps, a speed deemed by UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom to be the minimum required to cope with the needs of a typical family or small business.

According to Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at broadband advice site Cable.co.uk, the results offer a fresh perspective on where the UK sits in the broadband world. “Relatively speaking, we are near the top of the table. However, many of those ahead of us – some a long way ahead – are our neighbours both in the EU and wider Europe,” he noted. “Superfast rollout in the UK continues apace. Goals are being met, new initiatives undertaken and public funds being made available. However, clearly there are lessons to be learned both from Europe and from those topping the table.”

Not least the importance of reaching those with the lowest speeds, predominantly in very rural and/or hard-to-reach areas, but also greater investment in hyperfast fibre to the home (FTTH) networks, which currently reach only 2 per cent of properties in the UK, compared to Sweden or Latvia, say, here FTTH exceeds 40 per cent.

“The research demonstrates the value of network measurements and open data across countries to understand where countries rank against each other and to provide evidence that facilitates public learning about broadband development,” explained Collin Anderson, independent researcher at M-Lab.

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