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Q2 2015 UK Average Broadband Speeds Top 11.8Mbps vs 5.1Mbps Globally

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 (11:30 am) - Score 1,369

Akamai has today published their latest Q2 2015 State of the Internet (SotI) report to reveal that the world’s average fixed line broadband download speed is now 5.1Mbps (up from 5Mbps in Q1), which compares with 11.8Mbps in the United Kingdom (up from 11.6Mbps). The UK’s overall country ranking has also improved from 21nd to 19th.

The new data is based upon the performance of Akamai’s global Content Delivery Network, which accounts for around 15-30% of all web traffic, although this does not strictly reflect actual end-user connection speeds (i.e. it’s more a reflection of the CDN performance and its related connections to ISPs and consumers around the world).

However, starting with this quarter’s report, they’ve begun to filter out connections from IP address blocks associated with leading cloud service providers. Related data centres generally have extremely high-speed Internet connections that are not necessarily representative of end user performance. As such this has had an impact on today’s results and past data, so don’t be surprised if there are a few small discrepancies.

Elsewhere it’s worth noting that even some of the fastest countries with national fibre optic infrastructure (FTTH/P), such as South Korea (average of 23.1Mbps), still appear to deliver fairly pedestrian performance. This is because consumers often pick slower speed packages to save money, while network congestion or traffic management may also play a part.

Country/Region Q2 2015 Avg. Mbps QoQ Change YoY Change
Global 5.1 3.5% 17%
1 South Korea 23.1 -2.1% -11%
2 Hong Kong 17.0 1.5% 1.3%
3 Japan 16.4 7.8% 7.4%
4 Sweden 16.1 1.6% 18%
5 Switzerland 15.6 4.6% 6.4%
6 Netherlands 15.2 3.4% 11%
7 Norway 14.3 1.6% 38%
8 Latvia 14.2 3.1% 4.5%
9 Finland 14.0 2.7% 27%
10 Czech Republic 13.9 2.4% 13%

As for peak speeds, this makes the top 10 look a bit different..

Country/Region Q2 2015 Peak Mbps QoQ Change YoY Change
Global 32.5 12% 26%
1 Singapore 108.3 12% 60%
2 Hong Kong 94.8 2.4% 22%
3 South Korea 83.3 5.5% 12%
4 Japan 75.1 7.2% 19%
5 Taiwan 74.5 4.2% 32%
6 Romania 72.1 0.6% 17%
7 Qatar 71.7 2.6% 71%
8 Israel 71.4 6.2% -14%
9 Sweden 62.8 0% 24%
10 Macao 62.6 7.8% 36%

As usual the United Kingdom doesn’t show up in the top 10 table, largely because other countries appear to be improving their connection performance at a faster rate than we are, although we do show up in the wider results and here’s a quick summary of how things have changed since last year.

UK Broadband Performance  Q2 2015  Q1 2015  Q4 2014
% of UK Users Able to Achieve 4Mbps+ 85% 85% 83%
% of UK Users Able to Achieve 10Mbps+ 41% 41% 38%
% of UK Users Able to Achieve 15Mbps+ 23% 24% 22%
UK Peak Download Speed 50.9Mbps 51.6Mbps 48.8Mbps
UK Average Download Speed (Mbps) 11.8Mbps 11.6Mbps 10.9Mbps
Global Country Ranking (Average Speeds) 19th 21nd 18th

At this point we’ll contrast the UK results with those for the wider Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, which shows that we’re ahead of the other major EU states (e.g. Germany, France, Spain and Italy), yet trailing many of the smaller countries.

In addition, the UK will need to watch out for Germany as they’re closing fast. At the end of last year Germany held a country ranking of 29th, but they’ve since risen to 26th in Q1 2015 and have now jumped again to 24th. It’s easy to predict, given the UK’s low quarterly change, that Germany could jump ahead and possibly as soon as the next Q3 report.

Global Rank Country/Region Q2 2015 Avg. Mbps QoQ Change YoY Change
4 Sweden 16.1 1.6% 18%
5 Switzerland 15.6 4.6% 6.4%
6 Netherlands 15.2 3.4% 11%
7 Norway 14.3 1.6% 38%
9 Finland 14.0 2.7% 27%
10 Czech Republic 13.9 2.4% 13%
12 Denmark 12.9 1.0% 14%
13 Romania 12.8 0.5% 9.6%
17 Belgium 12.4 4.2% 11%
18 Israel 12.1 -0.1% 4.0%
19 United Kingdom 11.8 1.4% 7.6%
22 Ireland 11.0 4.6% 10%
23 Austria 10.9 5.3% 6.4%
24 Germany 10.7 5.8% 21%
27 Portugal 10.4 14% 31%
28 Slovakia 10.3 9.9% 34%
31 Hungary 10.0 6.8% 14%
32 Poland 10.0 1.7% 25%
34 Spain 9.7 8.6% 22%
36 Russia 9.6 1.6% 5.0%
45 France 7.9 5.0% 12%
48 United Arab Emirates 7.0 12% 47%
54 Italy 6.4 4.1% 12%
56 Turkey 6.3 -0.2% 20%
94 South Africa 3.3 -1.2% 7.7%

At this point in the report we’d normally move on to summarise mobile data (Mobile Broadband) performance, which has historically proven to deliver some quite wild results (it’s a difficult thing to judge even at the best of times).

But this time around Akamai has perhaps wisely decided to remove mobile connectivity from their report. The Internet giant admits that its ability to accurately identify mobile users “may be imperfect” and that judging their performance was often a “mix of art and science.”

The good news is that Akamai are implementing a number of refinements to improve the accuracy of mobile network identification and performance reporting, which will be introduced over the next few months. In other words, we won’t see mobile connectivity being re-added for a little while.

Akamai’s State of the Internet Q2 2015 Report
http://www.akamai.com/stateoftheinternet/

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar David says:

    Hello hello! What’s all this then? Only 23% of UK users “able to achieve 10Mbps and up” How can that be? Can all those assurances from reliable sources such as government, BT and regulator that 85% of us have access to superfast broadband (variously defined as 24Mbps+ and even 30Mbps+) possibly be wrong? Surely some mistake!

    1. Avatar Ignition says:

      Completely different measurement methodologies. This purely deals with performance from the Akamai content delivery network while BDUK covers access line speeds.

      Both are accurate, just measuring different things.

    2. Avatar MikeW says:

      More than that, the Akamai report reflects actual speeds of connections into the CDN.

      That means it doesn’t take account of
      – Parallel connections made by the application
      – Parallel connections made by other users/device in the property
      – A choice by the user to buy a lower package (eg 40/10 instead of 80/20)
      – A choice by the user to not bother upgrading (eg stays on 5Mbps ADSL, instead of FTTC)

      Around 90% of VM users choose a speed tier below the top one, and could go faster.
      around 60% of VM users choose the bottom speed tier, and certainly could go faster.
      Around 50% of FTTC users choose a 40Mbps tier, and probably could go faster.
      Around 20% of those who could get FTTC have chosen to make use of it.

      That’s a lot of the country who could get faster speed if they chose to. Upgrades are widely available … but are not chosen.

      Akamai’s results can only reflect the choices made by consumers. As consumers gradually get more choice – and then choose the cheapest option – the Akamai results will tend to show what the cheapest service is capable of, rather than the best service.

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