you know That ​UK broadband is slower than 30 other countries

What happened

The UK is in 31st place for average broadband speeds across the world, according to new global figures that place it behind countries including Estonia, Thailand, Hungary and Macau. The data, compiled by Cable.co.uk from more than 63 million internet speed tests, shows that the UK lags behind a significant number of other nations, with an average broadband speed of just 16.51Mbps. Chart-topper Singapore’s average connection speed is over three times faster than the UK’s, at 55.13Mbps. At this speed, lucky internet users can download a 7.5GB file in less than 20 minutes, while UK residents have to wait more than an hour for the download to complete. Many of the countries that benefit from faster average speeds are Asian nations, including Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, which have reputations for advanced technological capabilities. The United States also ranks higher, as do many of Britain’s eastern European neighbours. Slovenia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic all enjoy faster internet speeds on average, despite having a combined gross domestic product (GDP) figure that’s around 10 times smaller than the UK’s, according to World Bank figures. Even in 31st place, however, the UK is firmly in the top 20% of countries when it comes to internet speeds, and benefits from faster connections than France, Luxembourg, Italy and even the Republic of Ireland. It’s also significantly ahead of Yemen, which sits at the bottom of the table with an average speed of less than 1Mbps.

How will it affect you?

 If you’re thinking of moving abroad or taking an extended holiday, it’s useful to know that there are 30 countries in which you can enjoy faster broadband than here in the UK. At the same time, some of our near neighbours are even slower, so we should be grateful for small mercies. Of course, your actual broadband speed may be significantly faster or slower than the national average, as Barry Collins explained in his column in Issue 428 (bit.ly/ webuser428).

What do we think

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about the great variation in broadband speeds across the UK, so it’s interesting to compare our local figures with global ones. Before we start packing our cases and heading off to Estonia or Macau, though, we should bear in mind that the poor broadband speeds in many rural areas will have brought our national average down. Hopefully, by the time the next survey comes out, we’ll have climbed the ranks.

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