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UK Places a Lowly 33rd in Global Broadband Speedtest Chart at 7.69Mbps

Posted: 26th May, 2010 By: MarkJ
Ookla statisticsOokla, the self proclaimed global leader in anecdotal broadband internet access speed testing, has put all of its 1.5 billion speedtests into a single index of worldwide ISP performance - Net Index. Its result claims that the average global consumer download speed is 7.68Mbps (Megabits per second); by comparison Europe scores 10.03Mbps and the UK an unexpected 7.69Mbps :baffled:!
Top 10 Countries by Download Speed
1. South Korea 34.19 Mbps
2. Latvia 24.30 Mbps
3. Republic of Moldova 21.55 Mbps
4. Japan 20.35 Mbps
5. Sweden 19.81 Mbps
6. Romania 18.56 Mbps
7. Bulgaria 17.55 Mbps
8. Netherlands 17.05 Mbps
9. Lithuania 16.70 Mbps
10. Portugal 14.65 Mbps
33. UK 7.69 Mbps
Top 10 Countries by Upload Speed
1. South Korea 18.45 Mbps
2. Latvia 12.66 Mbps
3. Japan 11.01 Mbps
4. Lithuania 9.77 Mbps
5. Bulgaria 8.91 Mbps
6. Sweden 8.07 Mbps
7. Romania 7.89 Mbps
8. Republic of Moldova 7.17 Mbps
9. Denmark 6.15 Mbps
10. Russia 5.50 Mbps
65. UK 0.91 Mbps
The values apparently represent a rolling average throughput in Mbps over the past 30 days where the mean distance between the client and the server is less than 300 miles. The data is also updated in real-time and as a result the website will probably show slightly different results after we post this news.

An Ookla spokesperson said:

"At the site, we provide current and historical global metrics around consumer broadband upload and download speeds, as well as an overall measurement of connection quality based on key criteria including ping, jitter and packet loss."

We strongly advise readers to take these statistics with a big pinch of salt. They appear to be wildly out of step with reality. In April 2009 Ofcom reported that the UK average download speed was 4.1Mbps (here), while various other surveys tend to put the figure within +/-1Mbps of that.

The problem is best illustrated by Ookla's average upload performance for the United Kingdom - HERE, where at the time of writing we ranked 65th with an average speed of 0.91Mbps. Results were obtained by analyzing test data between Apr 25, 2010 and May 25, 2010. Tests from 10,288,804 unique IPs have been taken in the UK and 1,826,635 results are being used for the current Index.

However the vast majority of UK broadband users still connect via an 'up to' 8Mbps ADSL link, which usually limits most people to upload speeds of less than 0.5Mbps. Even all but the fastest 20Mbps and 50Mbps cable packages from Virgin Media UK limit customers to no more than 0.5Mbps in upload speed. Faster services are still in the minority. Many other UK speedtests therefore put our average upload performance at something closer to 0.4Mbps.

Furthermore the top 30 UK cities all claim average upload speeds of between 1.88Mbps and 33.61Mbps which, for the dominant forms of current generation "household" consumer broadband services, is simply not possible. Certainly if these averages were based on ADVERTISED rates then they might make at least a bit of sense, but they're not.
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