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The UK vs Broadband Speed and Coverage Targets from Around the World

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 (9:29 am) - Score 1,478
world internet

Content delivery firm Akamai has today published a useful summary of national broadband ISP speed and coverage targets from different countries around the world, which provides for an interesting comparison with the UK’s own ambitions. But how do we compare?

At present the UK government aims to make superfast broadband (25Mbps+) services available to 90% of people in each local authority area by 2015, while the last 10% of mostly rural towns and villages will have to make do with a Universal Service Commitment (USC) to deliver download speeds of “at least” 2Mbps by the same date. As a side note Jeremy Hunt MP this week said that he wanted to bring superfast services to more than 90% (here) but has yet to set out a viable post-2015 plan to do it (this will probably have to match Europe’s target).

Unfortunately Akamai’s Director of Market Intelligence, David Belson, has decided to use the EU Digital Agenda goals as the “lowest common denominator broadband plan target” across the whole of Europe. As a result the study is somewhat useless for comparing individual targets between different EU states, although it does provide a useful resource for checking against non-EU countries. To make life easier we’ve re-constructed the chart into a single image, although you can still download the original PDF file at the bottom of this article.

world broadband speed and coverage targets

Overall the UK, which achieved average speeds of 5.6Mbps in Akamai’s most recent study (Ofcom’s 9Mbps figure is perhaps more useful), doesn’t perform too badly against other countries. But this changes if you shrink the list down to compare only the most developed states. Many appear to have significantly bigger ambitions than us, yet it remains to be seen which of them will actually achieve those targets.

Likewise it’s worth remembering that you can never make a fair apples-to-apples comparison between different countries. Every state will have its own unique social, political and economic structure to consider.

Akamai’s Broadband Targets Around the World Chart (PDF)
https://blogs.akamai.com/Akamai_NBP_Infographic_V6.pdf

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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7 Responses
  1. Avatar Sledgehammer

    With NO figures in the EU column it makes this whole item useless. The rest of the world is ahead of the EU.

    • The full PDF has speed figures for each EU state as Akamai do not publish an overall average. But the purpose of this item is actually to show the targets from around the world and not measure how complete they are, since that is a more complicated assessment to make (e.g. Akamai’s speed figures don’t tell you about actual coverage).

  2. Avatar Bob2002

    I suppose Australia is an interesting case with their National Broadband Network –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Broadband_Network

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      IIRC this has had major delays, has just published a revised business plan that delivers very little coverage by next summer. The grass is not always greener…

  3. Why is there no figures for iran or palestine? Or even KSA

  4. My guess is that not everybody has made their plans public or has a plan to begin with. In other cases the data isn’t easy to find due to language barriers or limited detail.

  5. Avatar Kyle

    Poor South Africa! Broadband and 256kbps being used interchangably?!

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