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Speed test data shows UK's average broadband speed is 16.51Mbps

Tuesday, August 8th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The UK has an average broadband speed of 16.51Mbps, analysis of millions of speed tests has shown.

In a worldwide broadband speed league drawn up by Cable.co.uk the UK sits in 31st place – ahead of 158 countries but behind the majority of its European neighbours.

The UK's average speed of 16.51Mbps is less than half that reported by Ofcom in its UK Home Broadband Performance earlier this year.

The regulator, which used data provided by SamKnows, said the UK's average download speed in 2016 was 36.2Mbps.

Akamai, in its annual State of the Internet report, said the UK's average speed was 16.9Mbps, putting it in 15th place in the world.

In compiling its full, worldwide league table, Cable.co.uk analysed data collected by research group M-Lab, a partnership between New America's Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research and Princeton University's PlanetLab.

More than 63 million speed tests had been carried out across the world in the 12 months up to 10 May 2017.

Singapore tops the league with an average speed of 55.13Mbps, fast enough to download a 7.5GB HD movie in 18 minutes and 34 seconds.

Downloading the same film in Yemen, which has an average speed of just 0.34Mbps and sits at the bottom of the league table, would take more than two days.

Sweden, Taiwan, Denmark, the Netherlands and Latvia all recorded average speeds above 30Mbps, the speed Ofcom defines as superfast.

By contrast, 139 countries recorded average speeds below 10Mbps, the minimum speed Ofcom says is required to cope with the needs of a typical family.

The majority of the top 30 countries on the list are in Europe or Asia, while Africa accounts for more than half of the slowest-performing countries.

'Fresh perspective'

Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, said: “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.”

He said that of particular importance is reaching those in rural areas and investing in fibre to the home (FTTH) networks.

Collin Anderson, an independent researcher at M-Lab, said: “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.”

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