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The best and worst countries for broadband speeds

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 Cable.co.uk, said the results showed the UK has lessons to learn from Europe.

The Best And Worst Countries For Broadband Speeds

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 cable.co.uk.

Top 10 countries for fastest broadband speeds:

Rank Country Mean download speed (Mbps) Time taken to download 7.5GB movie (DD:HH:MM:SS)

1 Singapore 55.13 00:00:18:34

2 Sweden 40.16 00:00:25:30

3 Taiwan 34.4 00:00:29:46

4 Denmark 33.54 00:00:30:32

5 Netherlands 33.52 00:00:30:33

6 Latvia 30.36 00:00:33:43

7 Norway 29.13 00:00:35:09

8 Belgium 27.37 00:00:37:25

9 Hong Kong 27.16 00:00:37:42

10 Switzerland 26.93 00:00:38:01

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Top 10 countries for slowest broadband speeds:

Rank Country Mean Broadband Speed (Mbps) Time taken to download 7.5GB movie (DD:HH:MM:SS)

1 Yemen 0.34 02:02:02:28

2 Gabon 0.41 01:17:54:39

3 Burkina Faso 0.49 01:10:51:46

4 Congo, The Democratic Republic of the 0.55 01:07:17:51

5 Somalia 0.62 01:03:27:33

6 Vanuatu 0.63 01:03:00:56

7 Syrian Arab Republic 0.68 01:01:17:00

8 Venezuela 0.7 01:00:24:26

9 Congo 0.72 00:23:32:37

10 Benin 0.73 00:23:27:23

Virgin Media ultrafast broadband boost for 50,000 Northern Ireland …

Homes and businesses across Northern Ireland are set to benefit from ultrafast broadband after a ?3billion investment from Virgin Media. As it kicks off its Project Lightning expansion in Northern Ireland, Virgin Media plans to extend its ultrafast network to up to 50,000 properties in 2017. This has the potential to transform the quality of broadband in Northern Ireland, where average download speeds are just 23.8Mbps.

Work has already begun in communities including Ballykelly, Bangor, Limavady, Newtownards, Strabane and Artigarvan with customers benefitting from ultrafast speeds. Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media Ireland, said : “Families and businesses – from Bangor to Ballykelly- will soon benefit from ultrafast broadband 12 times faster than the average speed available today.

“Virgin Media stands ready to invest in Northern Ireland, without subsidy from Stormont, London or Brussels. But, like any major infrastructure investment, we need support from local authorities and Government to cut through red-tape so we can connect more homes and businesses more quickly.”

Those who wish to take Virgin Fibre’s internet services will be connected to ultrafast broadband with entry level download speeds of 100Mbps, reaching up to 300Mbps for residents and download speeds of 350Mbps for small businesses.

This means that speeds on Virgin Fibre’s lowest tier are over four times as fast as average speeds in Northern Ireland.

The areas of Wales with the slowest broadband speeds revealed

A major study has revealed the areas of Wales with the slowest broadband speeds. The map below shows the areas worst served by broadband connections in the lightest colours. Wales has some of the slowest speeds of any part of the UK.

Four of the 10 constituencies with the slowest download speeds in the UK are in Wales, with Carmarthen East and Dinefwr in the top position. This is based on Which? consumer-tested broadband speeds.

This is the UK table of shame, dominated by Wales and Scotland:

The Areas Of Wales With The Slowest Broadband Speeds Revealed Carmarthenshire

1. Carmarthen and Dinefwr

2. Ross, Sky and Lochaber

3. Na h-Eilanan an Iar

4. Orkney and Shetland

5.

Argyll and Bute

6. North Herefordshire

7. Montgomeryshire

8. Brecon and Radnorshire

9. Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross

10. Ceredigion

There were another three Welsh constituencies in the worst 20 for broadband speeds, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire (15th) and Monmouth (19th).

How the study worked

The Areas Of Wales With The Slowest Broadband Speeds Revealed

The researchers for the British Infrastructure Group (BIG)1 also looked at the total number of broadband connections in the constituency. They they used Ofcom data at how many of them had connections of above 10 MB/s (million bits per second) or 24 MB/s.

Families who want to have a number of members watching videos, listening to music or playing games at the same time are advised they would need speeds of around 24 MB/s to avoid problems. Anything below 10 MB/s would be insufficient to reliably stream videos even for a single user. The researchers found that 6.7m UK broadband connections didn’t even reach 10 MB/s and only 40.8% achieved over 24 MB/s.

The constituencies with the least substandard broadband

(% broadband connections slower than 10 Mb/s in 2016)

  • Bristol West 11.3%
  • Edinburgh South 14.1%
  • Edinburgh South West 14.1%
  • Hampstead and Kilburn 14.5%
  • Westminster North 14.7%
  • Reading East 15%
  • Sutton and Cheam 15.1%
  • Belfast South 15.3%
  • Leicester South 15.3%

The Welsh constituencies with the least substandard broadband

(% broadband connections slower than 10 Mb/s in 2016)

  • 1.

    Swansea West 20.0%

  • 2. Cardiff Central 22.6%
  • 3. Cardiff West 24.5%
  • 4. Swansea East 25.2%
  • 5. Gower 26.3%
  • =6 Newport East 26.8%
  • =6 Aberavon 26.8%
  • 7. Cardiff South and Penarth 28.7%
  • 8. Cardiff North 28.9%
  • 9. Neath 29.4%
  • 10. Newport West 30.0%
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The Areas Of Wales With The Slowest Broadband Speeds Revealed

The Areas Of Wales With The Slowest Broadband Speeds Revealed

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Governments must ‘stop passing the buck’

More than 50 MPs from across the party divides have come together to press for action amid concern that nearly seven million connections may not deliver the proposed minimum standard.

Dwyfor Meirionnydd Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts, one of the supporters of the report, said: “Far too many people across Wales are unable to access what Ofcom recognises as the speed required for basic tasks such as web browsing, streaming and video calling, and this digital divide undoubtedly contributes to the wider economic divide, depressing wages and living standards. The British Government and the Welsh Government must stop passing the buck and commit to connecting the whole of Wales with ultra-fast broadband.”

It is understood that less than half of all UK connections receive superfast speeds of 24 Mb/s. The MPs say it is “almost impossible” to determine how many households do not receive the speeds set out in their contracts.

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Lack of access is ‘stifling the potential of local business’

The Areas Of Wales With The Slowest Broadband Speeds Revealed Newly elected Gower MP Tonia Antoniazzi

Gower Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi, another supporter of the report, said: “Access to fast broadband is a fundamental requirement for rural economies to thrive. Gower continues to lack consistent connectivity across the constituency, this includes mobile coverage.

“Gower is home to a mix of micro and small and medium businesses, from creative industries to food production. It is essential for my constituents and their businesses to be served with high quality broadband and mobile coverage.

“There are 7,408 broadband connections in Gower not meeting the basic minimum download speed. This is a matter which the UK Government and providers must address immediately.

“I fear lack of access to decent broadband is stifling the potential of local business and preventing growth within the region.”

Grant Shapps, the former Conservative chairman who chairs the group, said: “Although broadband is increasingly considered to be an essential utility, the quality of customer services has simply not caught up with demand. It is unacceptable that there are still no minimum standards in the UK telecoms sector to protect customers from protracted complaints procedures, and ensure that broadband providers are fully accountable to their customers.”

The MPs say it is “unacceptable” Ofcom has not considered automatic compensation for households that consistently get a poor service below what they are paying for.

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Governments have ‘dragged their heels for too long’

The Areas Of Wales With The Slowest Broadband Speeds Revealed Ceredigion Plaid Cymru MP Ben Lake

Ceredigion Plaid Cymru MP, Ben Lake, one of the backers of the report, said: “Poor broadband speed, as well as poor mobile data signal not only impacts on residents but on businesses who are unable to reach beyond their local areas.

“Digital connectivity simply isn’t good enough in Ceredigion and in many other parts of Wales and the result is our rural communities are being cut off.

“Whilst businesses in cities such as Cardiff could feasibly rely on passing trade, rural areas have to go beyond their local high street. It is vital that we ensure businesses, and every resident in Wales, including rural Wales, have access to high-speed broadband and mobile data signal. Westminster and the Welsh Government have dragged their heels for too long – we’ve waited long enough.”

This year’s Digital Economy Act set out a so-called universal service obligation across the country, which defined a minimum broadband download speed of 10 Mb/s.

This is what the Welsh Government is doing:

The Areas Of Wales With The Slowest Broadband Speeds Revealed The Welsh Government insists it is making progress on broadband

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: “There has been tremendous progress in the availability of superfast broadband across the country thanks to the work of the Welsh Government. Over 647,000 premises can now access it in Wales as a result of the Welsh Government’s Superfast Cymru programme.

“The latest Ofcom report shows that Wales has the highest availability of superfast broadband among the devolved nations, largely thanks to the Superfast Cymru programme, with eight out of 10 premises with access. This compares with just over half in 2014.

“Areas such as Gwynedd, Conwy and Anglesey would have no access to superfast broadband without the intervention of Superfast Cymru. Now, for example, over 49,000 premises in Gwynedd can access it…

“We know there is more to do to reach the final premises including those not part of the Superfast Cymru rollout, and we are already looking at how to do this. We’ve recently announced potential funding of ?80m to reach the small percentage of premises not part of the Superfast Cymru project or commercial rollout.

“Once superfast broadband has been made available people will not receive it automatically. If they wish to receive it they will need to contact their internet service provider in order to change their package so that they can receive the faster speeds.

“Our Access Broadband Cymru scheme can also offer assistance to those currently not able to access superfast broadband by providing grant aid to receive it through other technologies.”

See how your constituency ranks for high speed internet access

(% broadband connections slower than 10 Mb/s in 2016)

  • 1. Carmarthen East and Dinefwr 58.2%
  • 2. Montgomeryshire 58.0%
  • 3. Ceredigion 55.1%
  • 4.

    Dwyfor Meirionnydd 50.9%

  • 5. Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire 49.8%
  • 6. Monmouth 49.1%
  • 7. Brecon and Radnorshire 48.9%
  • 8. Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney 47.3%
  • 9. Aberconwy 44.3%
  • 10. Islwyn 44.2%
  • 11. Preseli Pembrokeshire 44.1%
  • 12. Clwyd South 43.8%
  • 13.

    Bridgend 43.3%

  • 14. Alyn and Deeside 43.1%
  • 15. Delyn 42.8%
  • 16. Wrexham 42.0%
  • 17. Rhondda 41.6%
  • =18. Clwyd West 41.2%
  • =18. Torfaen 41.2%
  • 19. Cynon Valley 40.9%
  • 20. Anglesey 40.5%
  • 21.

    Caerphilly 40.2%

  • 22. Llanelli 39.8%
  • 23. Ogmore 38.9%
  • 24. Pontypridd 37.4%
  • 25. Arfon 35.9%
  • =26. Blaenau Gwent 32.6%
  • =26. Vale of Glamorgan 32.6%
  • 27. Vale of Clwyd 32.1%
  • 28. Newport West 30.0%
  • 29.

    Neath 29.4%

  • 30. Cardiff North 28.9%
  • 31. Cardiff South and Penarth 28.7%
  • =32. Aberavon 26.8%
  • =32. Newport East 26.8%
  • 33. Gower 26.3%
  • 34. Swansea East 25.2%
  • 35. Cardiff West 24.5%
  • 36. Cardiff Central 22.6%
  • 37.

    Swansea West 20.0%

References

  1. ^ http://www.britishinfrastructuregroup.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Broadbad-2.0-Final-2.pdf (www.britishinfrastructuregroup.uk)