Broadband speeds in United Kingdom slip down global league table

Britain broadband speeds

Globally, average broadband speeds have risen from 7.40Mbps to 9.10Mbps during the same period - a year-on-year increase of 23 per cent. Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, said he expects that "despite plans to roll out FTTP to United Kingdom homes across the next decade or so, the United Kingdom is likely to fall further behind while we wait". The new average speed would mean downloading a 5GB HD film would take almost 37 minutes.

The UK has slipped from 31st to 35th place in the global broadband league tables, behind 25 other European countries, research suggests. The UK was in the bottom third of European Union member states.

In particular, broadband speeds in the United Kingdom now trail Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovenia - among others - in Europe, and has even been leapfrogged by Madagascar. The research is compiled by Cable. In the United Kingdom, it takes 36 minutes and 46 seconds to download a 5GB HD movie.

It jumped up four places from its 2017 ranking, which was 80 out of 186 countries.

The mean speed has dramatically improved for Madagascar which was at 3.49Mbps in 2017 and now comes in at 24.87Mbps. Here, it takes just 11 minutes to download a 5GB HD movie.

The Global Broadband League table was recently updated with new average speeds. The average broadband speed in Yemen was just 0.31Mbps.

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While the United Kingdom slips in its ranking, at least the average speed has risen, from 16.51Mbps in the 12 months to 10 May 2017, to 18.57Mbps in the 12 months to 29 May 2018 (a 12.5 per cent speed increase).

Why is this? Well, Ireland is hurtling towards its fibre future with gusto, with players such as Eir, Siro and Virgin Media deploying fibre with staggering speed. However, this is mainly happening in cities and towns.

Instead, many homes rely on the slower FTTC (fibre to the cabinet), which uses copper wires to carry broadband from street cabinets to homes. We were six places above France a year ago, and now we're 12 places below.

So basically, what is happening is that inertia in the countryside is overshadowing vast gains in urban areas.

This year's ranking also saw Jersey break into the top ten.

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