UK Internet Speeds Disappoint As UN Sets Challenge

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An Akamai broadband report reveals poor rankings for the UK, as the UN Broadband Commission sets targets

As the Broadband Commission for Digital Development meets in Geneva this week to set new targets for the future of broadband in the developing world, Akamai released its quarterly State of the Internet Report.

According to the report, the UK showed some improvement in Internet speed and penetration in the last year, but still failed to light any fires.

UK an improver

The European rock-star is the Netherlands, with 68 percent of its broadband speed at 5Mbps or higher and, despite an improvement of 70 percent in the last year, the UK still lags behind in 15th place with only 30 percent of UK connections reaching those speeds. Globally, the figure is even worse, placing the UK in 25th place.

The country is doing little better in the 2Mbps and upwards stakes. The in-depth report figures showed that the UK is now in 11th place in Europe with 91 percent of UK broadband connections now hitting the 2Mbps mark, an improvement of 10 percent over last year.

Despite the overall poor showing nationwide, being placed at 28th in countries with peak connection speeds of 18.9Mbps, a top ten placing for the city of Bradford is a pleasant surprise. Bradford has the fastest broadband connection in the country with peak connection speeds of 23.5 Mbps.

When it comes to IP address allocations, the UK showed a 36 percent increase in penetration this year, putting it in  seventh position with almost 23 million unique addresses.

“Global Internet penetration up 21 percent year-on-year, up 34 percent from last quarter Global Average Connection Speed rose by 21 percent in this quarter to 2.6Mbps In the second quarter of 2011, the level of growth in global high broadband adoption got even stronger, as it increased 11 percent quarter-over-quarter, with 27 percent of all connections to Akamai occurring at speeds of 5Mbps or more,” said the company in its report.

A challenge for 2015

At the same time, the Broadband Commission released a statement regarding its new targets which cover broadband policy, affordability and uptake.

The 2015 targets entail making broadband policy universal, ensuring entry-level broadband services are affordable in developing countries, connecting 40 percent of households in developing countries to broadband, and getting people online by increasing penetration to 60 percent worldwide, 50 percent in developing countries and 15 percent in least developed countries (LDCs).

To this end, the International Telecommunications Union will undertake responsibility for measuring each country’s progress towards these targets; and producing an annual broadband report with rankings of nations worldwide in terms of broadband policy, affordability, and uptake.

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