The UK is ranked 33rd in the Ookla Net Index, which measures consumer broadband speeds around the globe
The average household broadband connection speed in the UK is 7.71 Mbps, ranking it 33rd in the world and only marginally above the global average, according to broadband metrics group Ookla.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, South Korea topped the table, with average speeds of 34.35 Mbps. However, Ookla’s Net Index – which compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe – also placed the UK below the likes of Liechtenstein, Slovakia and the Ukraine. The United States was ranked 26th, with average speeds of 10.15 Mbps.
The ranking is compiled using over one billion results collected from Speedtest.net and Pingtest.net. More than 10 million unique IPs have been tested in the UK, and 1,832,064 results were used for the current Index.
UK lags but still ‘desirable’
The report also found that, overall, the UK has an average home upload speed of 0.91Mbps, and a quality rating of 81.6 percent, placing it just inside “desirable” category.
The research backs up a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in December 2009, which found that the UK was lagging in the super-fast broadband stakes. The UK was shamefully placed 21st out of the 30 OECD members for speed.
However, the UK fared better when it come to broadband penetration, with 28.9 subscribers per 100 population. The OECD also ranked the UK fifth in terms of total broadband users with a commendable 17.7 million users, compared to France (18.7 million), Germany (24.0 million), Japan (30.9 million), and the US (81.1 million).
Government to invest in high-speed broadband
The news follows renewed promises from the coalition government in the Queen’s speech this week to increase investment in high-speed broadband in the UK. Plans include seeking money from private investors to provide better cabling in towns and cities, and top-slicing the BBC licence fee in order to pay for coverage in less lucrative rural areas.
Previous plans to implement a 50p-per-month broadband tax on fixed lines to fund broadband roll-out were opposed by the Conservatives and eventually scrapped ahead of the general election in order to fast-track the Finance Act and enact the budget.
Earlier this month, BT also announced plans to scale-up the roll-out of its super-fast broadband around the UK. Under the new plan, BT will now invest around £2.5 billion in rolling out fibre to around two thirds of UK homes by 2015.
The fibre technology being deployed by BT will be a mixture of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). “BT will be rolling out a mix of the two technologies but we expect that FTTC will be the most widely deployed,” the company said.