United Kingdom drops in worldwide broadband speed rankings

Ceria Alfonso
Julio 11, 2018

In fact, the United Kingdom has actually slipped one place in the league and now comes 35th overall for speeds.

An analysis of more than 160m broadband speed tests conducted across 200 countries revealed Singapore was once again the world's fastest country, followed by Sweden, Denmark and Norway, while Yemen came last. Compared to many other countries both in and out of Europe the United Kingdom has simply come too late to a full fibre (FTTP) solution. Well it's all thanks to the fact average global broadband speed rose by 9.10Mbps in the 12 months up to 29th May, following a 7.4Mbps increase in the preceding 12 months. That's a year-on-year increase of 23 per cent, for all the data nerds reading this.

Of the 50 best performing countries overall, 36 are European, nine are in Asia and the Pacific, two each are in North America and South America and one is in Africa.

136 countries were slower than the 10Mbps target speed which Ofcom has decreed will be the threshold for the universal broadband service obligation.

"It's been very interesting looking at the data for a second year running, not least because we have three times as much of it this time around".

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While the speeds in the United Kingdom were not the best, there were other measurements - such as availability and speed - where the United Kingdom would fare better, said Matthew Howett, principal analyst at research company Assembly.

"A number of other countries have leapfrogged us since past year, including France and Madagascar. Despite plans to roll out FTTP to United Kingdom homes across the next decade or so, the United Kingdom is likely to fall further behind while we wait". "Despite plans to roll out FTTP [fibre to the premises] to United Kingdom homes across the next decade or so, the United Kingdom is likely to fall further behind while we wait".

So who do we blame for this?

The UK's communications infrastructure is dominated by BT via its wholly owned infrastructure arm, Openreach. The government? Whoever is in charge of this sort of thing should take note. "The fastest country in this survey, Singapore, is about the size of London and obviously doesn't have the same challenges with remote and rural areas that we have in Britain", he said. Whether that means improving connections, making faster connections more affordable, or something I haven't thought of. Meanwhile Macao dropped behind, leaving the United Kingdom four spots down since a year ago.

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