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Average UK Internet Speeds Hit 15Mbps as World Rank Falls to 20th

Thursday, September 29th, 2016 (11:30 am) - Score 6,601
world broadband internet speed

Akamai has published its Q2-2016 State of the Internet report, which reveals that the United Kingdom’s average fixed line broadband download speed is now 15Mbps (up from 14.9Mbps in Q1) vs a global score of 6.1Mbps (down from 6.3Mbps). Sadly the UK’s world rank has once again fallen from 19th to 20th.

Overall the UK did show a tiny second quarter improvement in its average broadband download speeds (+0.4%) and in fairness this occurred at a time when the global average actually managed to drop by 2.3% during the second quarter. However the Global average peak connection speed did manage to increase by 3.7% to 36Mbps, while once again the UK remained fairly static.

UK Fixed Line Broadband Performance Q2 2016 Q1 2016 Q4 2015
% of Users Able to Achieve 4Mbps+ 90% 91% 89%
% of Users Able to Achieve 10Mbps+ 53% 53% 50%
% of Users Able to Achieve 15Mbps+ 36% 36% 32%
Peak Download Speed 62.1Mbps 61Mbps 56.8Mbps
Average Download Speed
15Mbps 14.9Mbps 13.9Mbps
Global Country Ranking (Average Speeds) 20th 19th 17th

As usual the big problem for the UK is that our connection performance is improving, albeit at a slower pace than rival countries. The result is particularly interesting since the UK has some of the highest availability of “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) capable fixed line connections in Europe at around 91% coverage.

Meanwhile a fair few other countries are adopting or have already adopted more “ultra-fast” fibre optic FTTH/P broadband lines into their urban and some rural areas than we have, which is one part of the reason why South Korea continues to lead the top 10. Other top 10 countries show a similar trend.


On the other hand our country ranking for average broadband download speeds sat at 19th in Q1 2016, then 17th in Q4 2015 and 14th in Q3 2015, which on the surface doesn’t look good. However this fails to tell the whole story because the UK ranking was actually down to 21st in Q1 2015 and then 19th in Q2 2015, which suggests more of a yo-yo movement.

At this point it’s also useful to contrast the UK against other countries in Europe, which shows that we’re still holding just above the likes of Spain and Germany, with Italy and France still suffering a lot further down the list; that’s despite some recent connectivity improvements in their urban areas.


As usual all of this data should be taken with a pinch of salt, not least because Akamai’s figures are based on the performance of their global Content Delivery Network (this accounts for around 15-30% of all web traffic), which doesn’t accurately reflect actual end-user connection speeds. It’s still a useful gauge to watch, albeit one that doesn’t provide the full picture.

Elsewhere Akamai also offers a glimpse into the 3G and 4G data performance of Mobile Network Operators (i.e. Mobile Broadband), which is one area where the United Kingdom appears to do a lot better than other countries. Mind you even Akamai admits that its mobile scoring is far from perfect and subject to more variations.

Note that the mobile speed measurements shown here – particularly average peak connection speeds — can be influenced by a number of factors, including the use and location of proxies within mobile networks. If a country’s major mobile carriers make heavy use of such proxies, peak connection speeds recorded for that country are likely to be influenced by the speeds achieved between Akamai and the proxies (residing in data centers) rather than speeds achieved between Akamai and the mobile devices themselves,” says the report.

The Highest AVERAGE Mobile Connection Speeds by Region

• Americas: Canada, 8.4 Mbps
• Asia Pacific: South Korea, 11.1 Mbps
• Europe: United Kingdom, 23.1 Mbps
• Middle East/Africa: United Arab Emirates, 8.4 Mbps

The Highest PEAK Mobile Connection Speeds by Region

• Americas: Peru, 72.1 Mbps
• Asia Pacific: Australia, 171.2 Mbps
• Europe: Germany, 172.8 Mbps
• Middle East/Africa: Israel, 136.0 Mbps

The report claims that we’re the fastest country in Europe with an average mobile connection speed of 23.1Mbps (plus a peak speed of 62.4Mbps), although this is down from 27.9Mbps (peak speeds of 66.5Mbps) in Q1 2016. However Germany did deliver the fastest peak speed in Europe of 172.8Mbps, although their average was just 17Mbps and proxies could be playing a big role in this.

Akamai’s State of the Internet Q2 2016 Report

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