The Definition of UK Superfast Next Generation Broadband - Introduction Page 1 - ISPreview
The Definition of UK Superfast Next Generation Broadband
By: Mark Jackson - October 25th, 2010 : Page 7 -of- 8
"average broadband speeds on true fibre optic networks still hover well below the maximum"

what is uk superfast next generation access nga broadband
Definitions - An Issue of Speed
It's easy to forget that, even in countries where national FTTH already exists (Sweden, South Korea etc.), average broadband speeds on true fibre optic networks still hover well below the maximum. Akamai's recent 'State of the Internet Q1-2010' report (here) illustrates this best by listing the Top 10 Countries by Fastest Average Download Speed.

Equally Ookla's highly optimistic Net Index, which dubiously reaches its totals by only averaging the fastest half of their results (i.e. discarding slower speed tests), shows that even under statistically biased circumstances the fastest country in the world (South Korea) cannot average even close to 100Mbps (data below correct to October 2010).

1. South Korea (34.55Mbps)
2. Latvia (25.50Mbps)
3. Lithuania (25.17Mbps)
4. Republic of Moldova (22.84Mbps)
5. Sweden (21.84Mbps)
6. Netherlands (21.33Mbps)
7. Romania (21.30Mbps)
8. Portugal (18.57Mbps)
9. Japan (17.91Mbps)
10. Bulgaria (17.47Mbps)

Clearly the maximum download speed alone, be it based on real-world results or technological possibility (theoretical top transfer rate), is too unreliable and would thus not make for an effective NGA definition.


The UK is well known to be one of the most mature eCommerce markets in Western Europe, which is in no small part attributable to our swift adoption of dialup internet access in the mid-late 90's and the prompt migration to faster "broadband" internet services after 2001. It is therefore critical that we get future broadband access right, lest our prosperity be put at risk.

In researching for this article we discovered that there is a great deal of confusion, both in the wider internet access market and among various government bodies, about what this new generation should encompass. Super-fast Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband is supposed to be, at the very least, better than the what we have today and yet some of the definitions are clearly failing this most basic of tests.

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