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UPD Global Country Ranking Pegs UK 31st for Average Broadband Speeds

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 (8:35 am) - Score 932
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A new study has used data collected by research group M-Lab to reveal that the United Kingdom delivers an average (mean) broadband download speed of just 16.51Mbps and ranks 31st fastest in the world versus 189 other countries. By comparison Singapore tops the chart with 55.13Mbps.

The data, which has been compiled and analysed by Cable.co.uk, is based on information gathered from 63 million speed tests that have been carried out across the world in the 12 months up to 10th May 2017. We note that the average speed of 16.51Mbps is just below the 16.9Mbps recorded by Akamai’s most recent State-of-the-Internet report (here) and below Ofcom’s own figure of 36.2Mbps, although the latter two use very different methodologies.

A closer comparison is probably Ookla’s annual speedtest.net report (here), which uses a similar methodology and reported average fixed broadband speeds in the UK for Q2-Q3 2016 as 39.76Mbps for download and 8.84Mbps for uploads. However Ookla’s results tend to use a much more optimistic weighting and they similarly ranked the UK in close to the same global position (33rd).

The results are useful for understanding our country’s place in the world, although it’s worth reminding readers that such reports make for a poor gauge when considering the availability of faster networks. At present it’s estimated that around 93%+ of premises are within reach of a fixed line “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) service – this should rise to 97% by 2020 – and we’re ahead of most EU countries for network availability (here).

However crucially just under half of home broadband lines in the UK are still connected via slow pure copper ADSL services, even though faster networks are often available (i.e. a lot of people haven’t upgraded due to various reasons such as a lack of awareness, higher prices, fear of switching, satisfaction with their existing package etc.).

Lest we forget that lots of other problems can also skew results extracted from internet speedtests, such as slow WiFi, poor home wiring and local network congestion (e.g. running a speedtest at the same time as somebody else is downloading a big file). But if we assume that many other countries will face the same issues then the new ranking remains a useful indicator of progress and take-up, so long as it’s taken in the correct context.

By comparison Singapore is a small city-state and one that has largely retired ADSL and Cable networks in favour of pure fibre optic (FTTH/P) services, most of which are advertised as offering broadband download speeds of up to anything from 1Gbps to 10Gbps. The limitations of speedtests and related real-world impacts on line performance are thus reflected in their score of 55.13Mbps, which is well below Gigabit territory.

An Openreach spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

“Cable.co.uk’s research highlights the need for a better understanding of the broadband speeds people currently use, compared to the actual superfast speeds they can sign-up to right now. More than 93% of the UK can already access superfast speeds of 24Mbps or above and a recent survey by Ofcom shows that the average household can receive speeds of 36.2Mbps – a speed that allows households to easily stream films, carry out video conferencing and browse the web at the same time.

However, so far, only 30% of UK homes and businesses have signed-up to these superfast broadband services via Openreach’s network, which explains the results of Cable.co.uk’s tests. The UK is the leading digital economy in the G20, and we’re working with the broadband industry as a whole to make more homes and businesses aware that these superfast speeds are available to them today.”

Now to the results..

Ranking Country Mean Download Speed Number of Distinct IPs Total Number of Tests Time to download a 7.5GB HD movie (DD:HH:MM:SS)
1 Singapore 55.13 12,959 50,940 00:00:18:34
2 Sweden 40.16 28,947 90,278 00:00:25:30
3 Taiwan 34.4 19,216 35,952 00:00:29:46
4 Denmark 33.54 19,760 72,472 00:00:30:32
5 Netherlands 33.52 65,527 223,203 00:00:30:33
6 Latvia 30.36 8,497 20,014 00:00:33:43
7 Norway 29.13 13,583 36,421 00:00:35:09
8 Belgium 27.37 35,633 77,287 00:00:37:25
9 Hong Kong 27.16 10,355 30,016 00:00:37:42
10 Switzerland 26.93 17,085 53,961 00:00:38:01
11 Lithuania 25.12 12,353 32,260 00:00:40:46
12 Japan 24.47 71,444 173,052 00:00:41:51
13 Estonia 24.11 7,768 16,466 00:00:42:28
14 Jersey 23.3 1,438 3,464 00:00:43:57
15 Hungary 23.16 150,687 371,570 00:00:44:12
16 Korea, Republic of 22.9 124,126 329,329 00:00:44:43
17 Portugal 21.72 31,161 78,413 00:00:47:08
18 Romania 21.33 68,672 142,829 00:00:48:00
19 Finland 20.9 13,853 29,763 00:00:48:59
20 Macau 20.52 875 1,678 00:00:49:54
21 United States 20 9,053,165 45,415,275 00:00:51:13
22 Spain 19.6 141,699 273,040 00:00:52:15
23 Slovakia 18.85 23,656 103,960 00:00:54:19
24 Germany 18.8 114,572 221,430 00:00:54:28
25 Slovenia 18.37 11,937 25,811 00:00:55:45
26 Canada 18.03 1,088,007 4,037,647 00:00:56:48
27 Bulgaria 17.54 19,331 51,568 00:00:58:23
28 Czech Republic 17.31 43,430 284,965 00:00:59:09
29 Thailand 16.85 84,617 158,088 00:01:00:46
30 New Zealand 16.6 163,705 456,874 00:01:01:42
31 United Kingdom 16.51 354,329 950,846 00:01:02:01
32 Monaco 16.13 331 750 00:01:03:29
33 Luxembourg 15.52 3,650 10,889 00:01:05:59
34 Austria 15.26 30,390 62,954 00:01:07:05
35 Poland 14.88 90,957 202,465 00:01:08:48
36 Ireland 13.92 26,960 70,280 00:01:13:34
37 France 13.43 186,990 441,419 00:01:16:16
38 Gibraltar 13.18 812 1,361 00:01:17:42
39 Cayman Islands 13.15 1,250 3,185 00:01:17:53
40 Croatia 12.57 18,997 33,557 00:01:21:27
41 Serbia 12.25 16,783 32,843 00:01:23:34
42 Andorra 12.07 245 365 00:01:24:52
43 Russian Federation 11.59 557,040 1,544,834 00:01:28:19
44 Liechtenstein 11.4 105 200 00:01:29:51
45 Moldova, Republic of 10.75 9,463 25,983 00:01:35:13
46 Italy 10.71 307,170 602,244 00:01:35:36
47 Iceland 10.55 4,057 11,088 00:01:37:02
48 Malta 10.17 4,553 9,056 00:01:40:42
49 Bahamas 10.06 987 5,442 00:01:41:49
50 Isle of Man 9.01 835 1,385 00:01:53:39
51 Kenya 8.83 3,636 12,526 00:01:55:55
52 Guernsey 8.76 2,723 9,779 00:01:56:57
53 Cyprus 8.24 7,251 20,825 00:02:04:16
54 Ukraine 8.18 145,876 454,384 00:02:05:08
55 Australia 7.7 894,225 2,430,045 00:02:12:57
56 Mexico 7.59 64,822 143,386 00:02:14:53
57 Greece 7.56 64,700 119,931 00:02:15:30
58 Faroe Islands 7.48 150 285 00:02:16:58
59 Macedonia 7.34 5,094 8,640 00:02:19:28
60 Israel 7.2 22,218 47,906 00:02:22:11
61 Bosnia and Herzegovina 7 5,659 9,614 00:02:26:19
62 Turks and Caicos Islands 6.74 183 379 00:02:31:55
63 Malaysia 6.69 38,881 68,196 00:02:33:03
64 Belarus 6.68 44,434 88,995 00:02:33:22
65 Barbados 6.62 705 2,018 00:02:34:38
66 Jamaica 6.6 2,194 5,667 00:02:35:11
67 Puerto Rico 6.44 5,179 13,452 00:02:38:57
68 Dominican Republic 6.22 6,667 12,981 00:02:44:41
69 Bermuda 5.94 874 3,468 00:02:52:24
70 Georgia 5.86 3,483 8,981 00:02:54:42
71 Montenegro 5.85 1,820 4,940 00:02:55:07
72 Seychelles 5.84 310 1,653 00:02:55:21
73 Virgin Islands, British 5.49 184 408 00:03:06:41
74 Vietnam 5.46 25,401 45,470 00:03:07:39
75 Indonesia 5.19 30,321 67,841 00:03:17:29
76 Belize 5.14 469 2,225 00:03:19:03
77 Virgin Islands, U.S. 5.14 220 1,950 00:03:19:24
78 Albania 4.67 4,783 13,997 00:03:39:15
79 Morocco 4.38 12,464 17,834 00:03:53:40
80 South Africa 4.36 43,981 93,440 00:03:54:54
81 United Arab Emirates 4.17 27,313 56,415 00:04:05:39
82 Kazakhstan 4 53,166 105,140 00:04:15:53
83 Turkey 3.96 84,325 151,727 00:04:18:39
84 Qatar 3.89 5,347 11,385 00:04:23:14
85 Sri Lanka 3.83 6,520 8,764 00:04:27:10
86 Brunei Darussalam 3.83 1,912 4,345 00:04:27:31
87 Philippines 3.69 57,841 150,121 00:04:37:52
88 Tunisia 3.5 11,866 21,519 00:04:52:23
89 Madagascar 3.49 1,402 2,562 00:04:53:15
90 Honduras 3.47 1,248 4,007 00:04:55:26
91 Guatemala 3.31 2,354 6,795 00:05:09:50
92 Armenia 3.29 4,744 12,037 00:05:11:08
93 Trinidad and Tobago 3.28 3,401 10,979 00:05:12:17
94 Greenland 3.15 130 218 00:05:24:56
95 Nigeria 3.15 3,397 7,241 00:05:25:27
96 Bahrain 3.13 4,057 6,468 00:05:27:18
97 Aruba 3.12 421 931 00:05:28:42
98 Cambodia 3.1 2,997 6,949 00:05:29:59
99 Saudi Arabia 3.06 62,833 104,497 00:05:34:57
100 Jordan 2.98 5,827 8,813 00:05:43:24
101 Dominica 2.68 246 512 00:06:22:32
102 Azerbaijan 2.67 5,295 10,100 00:06:23:20
103 Haiti 2.62 839 1,463 00:06:30:51
104 Oman 2.61 4,265 6,365 00:06:32:23
105 Zimbabwe 2.49 697 1,700 00:06:50:34
106 Zambia 2.45 971 2,901 00:06:58:05
107 El Salvador 2.34 1,316 3,345 00:07:18:02
108 Panama 2.3 2,645 12,423 00:07:25:19
109 Martinique 2.3 896 2,236 00:07:25:36
110 Ghana 2.3 1,937 4,076 00:07:26:11
111 New Caledonia 2.23 1,194 2,272 00:07:40:08
112 Guam 2.22 358 1,310 00:07:40:53
113 Kuwait 2.21 8,699 15,762 00:07:44:01
114 Colombia 2.12 19,909 41,700 00:08:02:25
115 Liberia 2.12 115 327 00:08:03:18
116 Uganda 2.12 563 1,189 00:08:04:00
117 Rwanda 2.11 359 849 00:08:05:02
118 Myanmar 2.09 1,423 4,923 00:08:09:57
119 India 2.06 226,103 463,530 00:08:16:20
120 Cape Verde 2 272 536 00:08:32:04
121 Curaçao 1.99 527 2,134 00:08:33:54
122 Saint Lucia 1.98 174 331 00:08:36:09
123 Palestinian Territory 1.96 2,261 3,613 00:08:43:33
124 Laos 1.94 578 1,437 00:08:49:05
125 Antigua and Barbuda 1.86 157 466 00:09:10:15
126 Namibia 1.81 1,618 2,320 00:09:26:07
127 Saint Kitts and Nevis 1.72 106 508 00:09:56:19
128 Chile 1.67 15,775 32,800 00:10:11:45
129 Guadeloupe 1.63 1,364 2,772 00:10:27:46
130 Maldives 1.62 758 1,668 00:10:32:13
131 Iraq 1.6 20,302 47,629 00:10:38:02
132 Mongolia 1.6 853 1,709 00:10:41:49
133 Iran, Islamic Republic of 1.56 29,556 48,924 00:10:54:29
134 China 1.55 57,899 92,226 00:10:58:57
135 Mauritania 1.54 193 236 00:11:03:38
136 Costa Rica 1.53 4,884 15,485 00:11:08:51
137 Mauritius 1.53 2,494 5,119 00:11:09:43
138 Brazil 1.49 233,045 426,877 00:11:26:11
139 Tanzania, United Republic of 1.49 1,590 3,032 00:11:28:54
140 Mozambique 1.45 826 1,424 00:11:46:51
141 Peru 1.41 10,649 23,093 00:12:08:09
142 Turkmenistan 1.4 228 577 00:12:10:59
143 Sint Maarten (Dutch part) 1.39 183 387 00:12:16:23
144 Bangladesh 1.34 8,188 41,671 00:12:42:46
145 French Guiana 1.34 511 786 00:12:44:48
146 French Polynesia 1.34 1,149 1,811 00:12:45:14
147 Ethiopia 1.34 631 1,720 00:12:46:40
148 Uruguay 1.31 4,781 6,304 00:13:00:38
149 Ecuador 1.28 6,493 14,764 00:13:18:39
150 Afghanistan 1.27 818 1,900 00:13:25:28
151 Djibouti 1.25 191 328 00:13:39:29
152 Suriname 1.25 805 1,727 00:13:42:23
153 Togo 1.24 236 462 00:13:48:23
154 Fiji 1.24 484 1,295 00:13:48:30
155 Cote D’Ivoire 1.22 2,138 2,895 00:13:58:30
156 Egypt 1.22 32,924 49,372 00:13:59:27
157 Papua New Guinea 1.19 152 673 00:14:23:34
158 Senegal 1.17 1,505 2,280 00:14:31:55
159 Argentina 1.15 36,570 87,269 00:14:49:31
160 Nicaragua 1.14 1,616 3,355 00:14:54:40
161 Algeria 1.11 28,762 42,510 00:15:21:00
162 Sudan 1.1 435 612 00:15:34:12
163 Lebanon 1.07 6,849 18,254 00:15:54:58
164 Botswana 1.07 328 850 00:15:56:37
165 Angola 1.05 1,153 2,502 00:16:16:28
166 Kyrgyzstan 0.98 5,388 16,794 00:17:22:02
167 Cameroon 0.97 893 1,705 00:17:37:48
168 Reunion 0.97 1,767 3,482 00:17:37:51
169 Nepal 0.97 5,842 14,304 00:17:39:00
170 Malawi 0.92 228 437 00:18:30:38
171 Pakistan 0.91 39,367 62,373 00:18:46:28
172 Bolivia 0.91 2,481 5,724 00:18:48:02
173 Guyana 0.89 401 1,323 00:19:09:23
174 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 0.89 3,145 7,758 00:19:14:00
175 Guinea 0.84 113 211 00:20:17:59
176 Mali 0.84 268 579 00:20:19:30
177 Tajikistan 0.83 467 1,590 00:20:34:16
178 Uzbekistan 0.76 4,584 10,827 00:22:26:41
179 Paraguay 0.75 1,251 2,421 00:22:38:10
180 Benin 0.73 331 837 00:23:27:23
181 Congo 0.72 109 225 00:23:32:37
182 Venezuela 0.7 12,832 25,445 01:00:24:26
183 Syrian Arab Republic 0.68 1,163 1,561 01:01:17:00
184 Vanuatu 0.63 116 261 01:03:00:56
185 Somalia 0.62 284 746 01:03:27:33
186
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
0.55 294 876 01:07:17:51
187 Burkina Faso 0.49 155 218 01:10:51:46
188 Gabon 0.41 498 830 01:17:54:39
189 Yemen 0.34 1,647 2,327 02:02:02:28

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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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10 Responses
  1. Avatar adslmax Real

    United Kingdom delivers an average (mean) broadband download speed of just 16.51Mbps. That a load of rubbish. I got average download speed of between 71-76Meg on my FTTC almost every days since 2014.

    • You should contact M-Lab and ask them to update their UK results so that instead of being based off 354,329 tests by distinct IP addresses (connections) they are re-calculated to only factor the results from your solitary FTTC line :).

    • Avatar PaulM

      I think you need to be less subtle Mark, he will not understand sarcasm.

  2. Avatar dragoneast

    I don’t skewer the results. I don’t do speedtests anymore like, I suspect, most people.

  3. Avatar CarlT

    For better or worse can’t force people not to use ADSL.

    This table would look considerably better if we had loads of gigabit FTTP in the easier to deliver urban areas and killed off ADSL there but then:

    Those outside those areas would be kicking and screaming about the digital divide.
    Sky and TalkTalk would be complaining about not being able to sell largely obsolete services on the cheap from their obsolete LLU equipment.
    Some people would be complaining about having to actually pay for their broadband not getting it thrown in with something else, or in return for their ‘loyalty’, for free.

    With those in mind mid-table obscurity it is.

  4. Avatar adslmax Real

    @ Mark Jackson I just done a speed test here: https://www.measurementlab.net/tests/ndt/

    Speed Test result: https://postimg.org/image/tsay2hpqz/

    • Avatar TheFacts

      and your point is?

    • Avatar PaulM

      I think his follow up post and his original is the same point… What his connection does is more important than what hundreds of thousands of others do. Why he thinks that, i doubt anyone will be able to figure out.

    • Avatar CarlT

      It’s all good, he has 20k in the bank, perhaps won the lottery raffle, and he’s about to install an FTTPoD service so he’ll be fine 🙂

    • Avatar Alan

      I wonder which provider he is going to spend his money on providing his FTTPoD service though? If you listen to him and look back he had Talk Talk, Sky, BT, Plusnet, Zen, Virgin and probably more all within 2 years of his mundane scribblings and basically hates every provider.

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