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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Fri 2nd Oct 2009

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The UK Suffer 

To some it won’t be a surprise to learn that according to a recent report the UK lag far behind other nations in terms of broadband performance. Cisco, who manufacture the Linksys brand of routers, recently completed a study which compares internet performance across the world

The study ranks the UK at number 25 or 31 depending on how the figures are interpreted leaving us way behind countries such as South Korea, Iceland and Greece. The broadband quality table in the study uses data collected from speedtest.net in 66 countries, and measures download and upload speeds, and latency. By those measures, the UK, with an average download speed of 4.6Mbps and uploads at 0.5Mbps, is down in 31st place.

But the researchers then add in a measure of broadband penetration to come up with their broadband leadership league. The fact that uptake and availability in the UK are both high pushes us up to 25th place in that table.


Poor investment in fibre-optic infrastructure is the main reason. Initially in the first Broadband wave the UK’s investment in copper networks ensured that connection availability throughout the country was high. But other countries have moved forward more rapidly to build next generation networks using cable and fibre-optics which provides much higher bandwidth.

Dont Panic

The report's authors were keen to cheer us up. They congratulated Britain for a 40% improvement in broadband quality in the last year - and pointed to Virgin Media's investment in high speed broadband via cable as evidence that the nation was not standing still. They also said our broadband speeds were suitable for today's applications, though we'd need to invest for tomorrow's needs.

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