UK still languishing in broadband speed rankings

Posted on July 3, 2019


The yearly Worldwide Broadband Speed League has been released by Cable, and it’s another disappointing showing from the UK, which finds itself in the bottom third of EU nations.

The mean download speed in the UK has increased over the last year from 18.57 to 22.37 megabits per second (Mbps), but this only moves it up to 34th – just one place higher than in the 2018 rankings.

The position puts it well behind the EU leader Sweden, which came fourth out of the 207 world nations observed with an average speed of 55.18Mbps. Other European frontrunners include Denmark (5th), Luxembourg (7th), and the Netherlands (8th), along with non-EU nations Switzerland (9th) and Norway (11th).

Nordic and Scandinavian nations have long boasted impressive internet accessibility, but what might be more surprising is that the UK also lags behind several Eastern European and Baltic nations for broadband speed, such as Hungary (20th), Lithuania (21st), Slovakia (23rd), Slovenia (26th), Poland (28th), and the Czech Republic (31st).

In fact, one place above the UK is the isolated African island nation of Madagascar, and for the first time since Cable started conducting the report in 2016, it trails neighbouring Ireland, which jumps from 36th to 29th in the table.

The best place to be for fast broadband is now Taiwan – a significant improvement from a nation only positioned in 14th in 2018. Its lightning-quick speed of 85.02Mbps means Singapore falls to second place having topped the league for the last two years. Also, despite the UK’s indifferent performance, those on the Channel Island of Jersey are enjoying some of the fastest speeds in the world, with a 67.46Mbps average putting it in third place.

At the other end of the table, those who can’t stand slow connections should stay away from Yemen, where the chronic 0.38Mbps speed is the slowest in the world. There are some other notably poor performers among the Arabic and Central Asian states, but African countries largely dominate the wrong end of the table, with Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, Ethiopia, Somalia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Djibouti, the Republic of Congo and Benin all in the bottom 12.

To help visualise the different between the top and bottom of the table, a 5GB movie could be downloaded in under 20 minutes in Sweden. In Yemen, it would take 30 hours.

Globally, the report notes that broadband speeds are increasing quickly, however. Since the 2018 report, the global average has gone up from 9.14 to 11.03Mbps, representing a year-on-year increase of 20.65%. This is a little slower than the change from 2017 to 2018 though, which was 23.35%.

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray
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