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Broadband speeds rise in developed markets but UK drops in ranking

Average broadband speeds globally rose 23% over the last year, but most progress was among countries with existing fast broadband, according to a study by Cable.co.uk. The UK dropped four places in Cable.co.uk’s national rankings to 35th place overall.

Europe, the US and the leading economies of the Asia Pacific region – Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong – are driving improving provision of fast, reliable broadband.

According to the survey, compiled by Cable.co.uk on the basis of data collected by M-Lab, Singapore was the world’s fastest broadband country for the second year running, with average speeds of 60.39Mbps. Yemen came last with an average speed of 0.31Mbps.

Global broadband average speed rose from 7.4Mbps to 9.1Mbps in the 12 months to the end of May, up 23%.

The UK scored an average of 18.57Mbps, putting it 35th in the overall ranking and 26th among European countries. The UK was in the bottom third of EU member states.

Downloading a 5GB HD movie would take 11 minutes and 34 seconds in Singapore on average, compared with over one and a half days in Yemen.

Some 36 of the top 50 countries are in Europe, with nine in the Asia Pacifica region, two in North America, two in Latin America and one in Africa.

Twenty-five of the 50 slowest countries are in Africa, with 12 in the Arab world, 10 in the Asia Pacific region and three in South America.

“With average broadband speeds rising by 23% in just one year it would be easy to assume an overall positive global picture. However, a closer look reveals the acceleration is concentrated towards the top end: the faster countries are improving more quickly, with those towards the bottom end of the table verging on stagnation,” said Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.

Howdle said the UK’s relatively poor performance was due to the fact that the country “has simply come too late to a full fibre – FTTP – solution” and added that “the UK is likely to fall further behind” ahead of plans to roll out fibre coming to fruition.