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Average UK broadband speed slower than most of Europe, report finds

Britain is a broadband laggard with an average speed ranking it 31st in the world trailing most of Europe, Thailand and New Zealand. A new report has found that across the UK the average broadband download speed is 16.5Mbps, at which it takes about an hour to download a lengthy Hollywood film such as Lord of the Rings or an entire TV box set.

The average speed in the UK is less than a third that of Singapore, which tops the global league table measuring broadband in 189 countries, where it takes an average of 18 minutes to download a 7.5Gb film.

The UK falls well short of the average speeds enjoyed by European countries including Germany (18.8Mbps), Spain (19.6Mbps), Sweden (40Mbps) and Hungary (23Mbps). Outside Europe, the UK is bettered by nations including the US (20Mbps), Canada (18Mbps) and New Zealand (16.6Mbps). The report found that overall the UK lags behind 19 European countries, 17 of them in the European Union.

“These results offer us a fresh perspective on where we sit in the broadband world,” says Dan Howdle, consumer and telecoms analyst at, which produced the report. “Relatively speaking, we are near the top of the table. However, many of those ahead of us, some a long way ahead, are our neighbours both in the European Union and wider Europe.

Is it good enough to lag behind 20 other European countries in terms of broadband speed?”

Major European countries that fared worse than the UK include France, which ranked 37th, and Italy at 46th.

Ofcom has set a goal of delivering a minimum of 10Mb broadband to all UK households. This is the minimum speed the media regulator deems necessary to cope with a typical family’s internet needs such as streaming Netflix, downloading a film on Sky and browsing the internet.

Last month, a group of 57 MPs published a report calling on Ofcom to make broadband providers such as BT and Sky compensate customers who do not get the connection speeds they are promised1. Ofcom reckons that the average UK broadband download speed theoretically achievable – although not necessarily the speeds experienced by home internet users – reached 36Mbps in November last year2. Howdle said’s report shows an emergence of a broadband “first world” and “third world” with many less developed countries such as Somalia, Congo, Gabon and Malawi appearing at the bottom of the list.

Twenty of the top 30 fastest-performing countries are in Europe, and 17 of the slowest-performing 30 countries are located in Africa.

However, many countries and regions, such as Africa, are expected to bypass broadband via cable and move straight to mobile internet technology.

The report, which examined global data from 63m speed tests over the course of a year, was put together by open internet measurement firm M-Lab, a consortium of partners including New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research and Princeton University’s Planet Lab.

Last month, BT made an offer to the government to roll out broadband to the last 1.4m homes in the UK without it. They are mostly in locations where it is uneconomical for broadband providers to extend their services, such as parts of rural Wales, Cornwall, Yorkshire and Scotland.

Global broadband average speed league table


Singapore 55Mbps
2. Sweden 40Mbps
3. Taiwan 34.4Mbps
4. Denmark 33.5Mbps
5. Netherlands 33.5Mbps
6. Latvia 30.3Mbps
7. Norway 29Mbps
8. Belgium 27.3Mbps
9. Hong Kong 27Mbps

Switzerland 26.9Mbps

United Kingdom 16.5Mbps

Source:, M-Lab


  1. ^ compensate customers who do not get the connection speeds they are promised (
  2. ^ reached 36Mbps in November last year (
  3. ^ last 1.4m homes in the UK (

Download doldrums as UK broadband speeds trail European neighbours


Download Doldrums As UK Broadband Speeds Trail European Neighbours

The UK is ranked 31st globally for broadband speeds

8 August 2017 6:00AM

Broadband speeds in the UK lag behind many of its European neighbours, according to new analysis. With a mean download speed of 16.51 Mbps, Britain comes 31st in the global rankings for broadband speed – nearly three times slower than table topper Singapore at 55.13 Mbps. Countries including Romania, Slovenia and Bulgaria are ahead of the UK in the analysis, while people in France, Italy and Australia typically get slower speeds.

Bringing up the pack is Yemen with an average download speed of 0.34 Mbps, where it would take two days to download a film in high definition. Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at, said the results showed the UK has lessons to learn from Europe. He said: “These results offer us a fresh perspective on where we sit in the broadband world.

“Relatively speaking, we are near the top of the table.

“However, many of those ahead of us – some a long way ahead – are our neighbours both in the EU and wider Europe.”

The findings are based on more than 63 million broadband speed tests which were taken over a year and the results collected by M-Lab. These were later ranked by

8 August 2017 6:00AM

Satellite Solutions Worldwide welcomes accelerated French satellite broadband roll-out

Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group PLC (LON:SAT1) has welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent announcement that although his government wants to accelerate the roll out of universal high-speed broadband coverage, “it is impossible to keep the promise of fibre in to all households in France.”

In a statement today, SSW’s CEO Andrew Walwyn commented, “This statement is particularly significant as, despite many European governments having broadband subsidy schemes, they are often constructed around fibre.”

READ: Satellite Solutions acquires fixed line supplier to make comprehensive UK broadband package2

He added: “President Macron has directly acknowledged that fibre alone cannot viably resolve the problem of universal broadband provision; satellite is a key solution for the large areas of France that do not have adequate broadband coverage.”

The CEO concluded: “We are already one of the largest independent satellite broadband providers in France with c.12,000 customers.

“We believe the French government’s announcement highlights the importance of satellite and other alternative technologies to fibre which should underpin our French business in the coming years.”

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