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UK Ranks 27th out of 54 Countries for Average Broadband ISP Speed

Thursday, February 21st, 2019 (11:53 am) - Score 1,247
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Comparison site Compare the Market has updated an interesting comparison of 54 countries, which ranks each by their average broadband download speed, upload speed and monthly package price. Sadly the UK ranks just 27th for downloads (55.14Mbps), 39th for uploads (12.72Mbps) and 20th for price (£31.27).

The results are far from inspiring and predictably the “full fibre” (FTTP) dominated broadband markets of Singapore, Iceland and South Korea hold the tables top three spots (all were able to deliver “ultrafast broadband” speeds of above 100Mbps). On the flip side CtM’s Global Broadband Index page lacks any detail to explain their methodology, which is just one of several reasons why we’re taking it with a pinch of salt.

Judging by the performance scores we believe they’ve used some sort of speedtest based data, although the source of their data isn’t clarified (looks overly optimistic and that’s usually an Ookla trait). The problem here is that speedtest studies make for a poor gauge when considering the actual availability of faster networks.

For example, it’s currently estimated that around 96% of UK premises are within reach of a fixed “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) network and more than 55% should be able to access an “ultrafast” (100Mbps+) service; albeit mostly via Virgin Media for the latter. However speedtest based data is more a reflection of take-up and at present around 35-40% of premises still take an old / slow ADSL copper line broadband service, which tends to drag average scores down.

Lest we forget that lots of other problems can also skew results extracted from speedtests, such as slow WiFi, consumer package choice or local network congestion (e.g. running a speedtest at the same time as somebody else is downloading a big file). Likewise it’s unclear whether the data has split out the results from mobile and high capacity business lines.

On the other hand, if we assume that other countries face at least some of the same issues then the ranking remains a useful indicator of progress and take-up (provided it’s taken in the correct context).

Country Avg. Monthly Cost Avg. Download Speed Avg. Upload Speed
Singapore £39.84 185.25 Mbps 192.08 Mbps
Iceland £60.56 153.3 Mbps 155.46 Mbps
South Korea £25.51 114.31 Mbps 90.2 Mbps
Hungary £14.51 108.78 Mbps 44.44 Mbps
United States £53.48 107.28 Mbps 37.11 Mbps
Sweden £44.23 106.76 Mbps 72.98 Mbps
Spain £33.48 105.03 Mbps 87.51 Mbps
Switzerland £63.20 104.2 Mbps 65.37 Mbps
Luxembourg £56.21 101.48 Mbps 65.5 Mbps
Norway £58.40 98.72 Mbps 75.67 Mbps
France £24.60 96.14 Mbps 49.05 Mbps
Denmark £40.38 91.27 Mbps 67.11 Mbps
Canada £45.55 91.05 Mbps 38.57 Mbps
Japan £29.35 88.97 Mbps 97.52 Mbps
Netherlands £46.79 86.14 Mbps 41.77 Mbps
New Zealand £46.43 83.96 Mbps 47.63 Mbps
Portugal £48.31 73.65 Mbps 39.67 Mbps
Lithuania £13.30 71.37 Mbps 63.07 Mbps
Barbados £88.37 70.37 Mbps 38.45 Mbps
Israel £10.29 69.24 Mbps 15.44 Mbps
Germany £28.98 65.19 Mbps 15.8 Mbps
Belgium £36.09 63.85 Mbps 13.59 Mbps
Malta £42.42 62 Mbps 11.09 Mbps
Taiwan £20.85 61.86 Mbps 37.71 Mbps
Ireland £51.44 56.43 Mbps 19.67 Mbps
Poland £14.43 55.36 Mbps 20.47 Mbps
United Kingdom £31.27 55.14 Mbps 12.72 Mbps
Chile £35.95 54.77 Mbps 12.69 Mbps
Latvia £14.76 52.91 Mbps 51.18 Mbps
Finland £41.26 51.6 Mbps 23.05 Mbps
Slovakia £17.08 50.66 Mbps 18.44 Mbps
Estonia £21.83 47.94 Mbps 32.97 Mbps
Slovenia £25.06 45.53 Mbps 15.55 Mbps
Panama £85.62 45.45 Mbps 8.96 Mbps
Czech Republic £20.49 44.6 Mbps 23.6 Mbps
Italy £23.29 42.79 Mbps 15.37 Mbps
Trinidad and Tobago £48.01 42.5 Mbps 23.15 Mbps
United Arab Emirates £124.11 38.16 Mbps 13.56 Mbps
Austria £40.05 37.43 Mbps 11.7 Mbps
Uruguay £36.74 35.32 Mbps 9.93 Mbps
Qatar £111.06 33.98 Mbps 18.62 Mbps
Australia £41.69 32.96 Mbps 12.81 Mbps
Saudi Arabia £75.62 29.83 Mbps 12.55 Mbps
Croatia £21.12 29.19 Mbps 12.65 Mbps
Bahamas £57.49 28.5 Mbps 10.59 Mbps
Mexico £26.32 24.84 Mbps 10.08 Mbps
Argentina £12.25 24.14 Mbps 5.63 Mbps
Cyprus £41.88 22.96 Mbps 5.45 Mbps
Oman £119.00 22.05 Mbps 6.91 Mbps
Kuwait £43.13 21.76 Mbps 18.55 Mbps
Greece £45.99 19.86 Mbps 13.84 Mbps
Turkey £12.61 18.76 Mbps 5.52 Mbps
Bahrain £76.07 18.32 Mbps 6.07 Mbps
Brunei £97.40 15.15 Mbps 10.36 Mbps

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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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3 Responses
  1. Avatar Brian

    So that’s me at 6% average uk download and 3% average upload

  2. Avatar UKSuperfast

    Assesses geographic / topographic coverage and price point? I doubt. The fastest broadband in the world is possible provided everyone lives in cities? The ‘best networks’ cover the most people possible at the optimum speed and costs? And this implies ‘not everyone’. Not that that fact much helps those who don’t have it or have a poor experience! As you note, ‘with a pinch of salt’.

  3. Avatar CarlT

    Interesting: Germany overtook us. Presumably due to vectored VDSL alongside some FTTP deployment.

    Most of the others can be traced back to government action – in some cases funding of NBNs, in others regulators that aren’t fixated on forcing the telco to provide unbundled copper until the heat death of the universe.

    The last action in the UK before our civilisation ends when multi-wavelength FTTP running at terabits a second to homes is common will be Ofcom complaining to Openreach because TalkTalk can’t sell MPF ADSL 2+.

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