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New Worldwide Broadband Speed League Unveiled – UK Ranks 31

  • New data, extracted by Cable.co.uk from over 63m broadband speed tests worldwide reveals UK speeds are behind 30 other countries
  • At 16.51Mbps, the UK lags behind 19 European countries, 17 of them in the EU, but comes ahead of 158 other countries including Italy, France, Ireland and Monaco
  • Singapore ranks as the world’s fastest country with speeds of 55.13Mbps, with war-torn Yemen coming in last at an average speed of just 0.34Mbps
  • The full league table can be accessed here, via Google Docs

Tuesday 8 August 2017: Analysis of over 63m broadband speed tests worldwide has revealed that the UK sits in 31st place, with an average speed of 16.51Mbps.

The data was collected across the 12 months up to 10 May this year 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.

As seen in the league table, 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.

20 of the top 30 fastest-performing countries are located in Europe, with 7 in Asia, 2 in North America and 1 in Oceania.

By contrast, 17 of the 30 slowest-performing countries are located in Africa, with 7 in Asia, 6 in South America and 1 in Oceania.

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

Commenting on the findings Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at broadband advice site Cable.co.uk, says:

"These results offer us a fresh perspective on where we sit 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."

"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% of properties in the UK, compared to Sweden or Latvia, say, here FTTH exceeds 40%.

Commenting on the results, Collin Anderson, independent researcher at M-Lab, says:

"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."

Notes to editors

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What is Cable.co.uk?

Cable.co.uk is a broadband, TV and phone comparator, unique news source and consumer champion.

Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades. Having spent 12 years at the coalface of consumer telecoms research, initiating and running projects both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now Director of Communications and in-house consumer telecoms expert for Cable.co.uk.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer who frequently appears on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers and their websites, Dan leads a team of journalists and communications folk who spend their days researching and reporting on problems faced by UK broadband, TV and mobile customers both on an individual and macro level.

Dan campaigns on many issues currently facing consumers of broadband, TV and mobile products in the UK. These include, but are not limited to: Rural broadband provision; mobile coverage; broadband, TV and mobile customer contract issues; broadband and mobile broadband speeds; switching and money-saving; infrastructural challenges; pricing, changes and structures; shifts in technology and the marketplace; telecoms regulation, policy and law; fines, adjudications and policy changes; mergers and closures of UK providers; annual financials and more.

Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality. He also administers and adjudicates the yearly Broadband Service Quality Awards and sits on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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