UK listed a lowly 33rd in world broadband speed pecking order


The UK ranks just 33rd in the world for average broadband speeds, behind the likes of Liechtenstein and Slovakia and only marginally above the worldwide average.

Broadband metrics group Ookla has revealed its Net Index, which ranks countries based on data collected by its Speedtest and Pingtest online connecting-testing utilities.

According to the index, which examined more than 1.5 billion records in total, South Korea has the world's fastest broadband, with the average connection zipping along at downstream speeds of 34.19Mbps. Latvia is a distant second with 24.3Mbps, followed by Moldova, Japan and Sweden.

South Korea's impressive speed is nearly five times the UK average of 7.69Mbps, which is only good enough for 33rd place, and only narrowly beats the global average of 7.67Mbps. The US isn't much better, coming in 26th overall with an average of 10.16Mbps.

At the other end of the scale, Zambia came in last of the 154 countries listed, with its 260Kbps average more than 100 times slower than that of South Korea.

The Net Index report also revealed the top locations within each country for speedy broadband, and in the UK, London doesn't even make the top 30. Instead, it's Loughton, Welling, Dartford, Clitheroe and Troon that are showing the rest of the country a clean pair of broadband heels.

But they're unlikely to be getting anywhere near residents of Seoul, the world's fastest city for broadband according to Ookla, where data speeds around at 34.66Mbps. Latvian capital Riga was listed in second place with 27.90Mbps.

While the Ookla figures make for interesting reading, the unscientific nature of how the data was accumulated, plus the survey's near-three-year duration, mean the rankings are hardly official.

But they are broadly in line with other recent reports, including Akamai's State of the Internet report in January, which pegged the UK at 26th place globally, with South Korea the world's fastest and Sweden the top European country.

Either way, with plans to improve the UK's broadband infrastructure forming a key policy issue in the build-up to the recent general election, those pressing for more resources to be devoted to developing super-fast broadband in the country will no doubt point to the Net Index scores as evidence.

Yet despite its mediocre overall ranking, the UK's downstream speed combined with its 0.91Mbps upstream speed and a quality rating of just over 81 per cent contributes to an overall "desirable" verdict from Ookla.