More bad news for BT and Openreach as data shows UK broadband speed lags most of Europe

Britain is falling behind its European counterparts in terms of broadband speed, a new study has found. The UK has an average broadband speed of 16.51 megabits per second, leaving it in 31st place and below the majority of its European counterparts, according to the latest league table drawn up by[1]. It’s another knock to BT Group plc[2]‘s (LON:BT.A[3]) pride, as its Openreach division owns almost all of the pipes and cables that connect UK businesses to the national broadband and telephone network.

Sweden flying the European flag

Germany (18.8Mbps), Spain (19.6Mbps) and Sweden (40Mbps) all enjoy higher broadband speeds, as do 17 other European countries.

Outside of Europe, the US (20Mbps), Canada (18Mbps) and New Zealand (16.6Mbps) all top the UK for average broadband. The standout winner though is Singapore, where the average speed measured a whopping 55Mbps. That’s quick enough to download the Lord of the Rings in just 18 minutes, whereas it would take an hour to download the same film in the UK.

‘Is it good enough to lag behind 20 other European countries?’

“These results offer us a fresh perspective on where we sit in the broadband world,” said[4] telecoms analyst Dan Howdle.

“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?”

There were a couple of notable countries below the UK in the table, including France and Italy, but the vast majority of poorer performing countries were located in Africa.

The 16.51Mbps recorded for the UK is almost half that reported by Ofcom earlier this year.

In its UK Home Broadband Performance report earlier this year, the regulator said the UK’s average download speed in 2016 was 36.2Mbps.

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