UK Broadband Speeds Lag Behind the Rest of the World

From time to time, everyone gets frustrated with their broadband speed. This feeling is one that UK broadband users know better than many others around the world. Broadband speeds in the UK lag behind those in many other countries, leaving users gritting their teeth in frustration as web pages take an unacceptably long time to load.

Are You Satisfied With Your Broadband Speed?

Consumer research conducted by the UK telecommunications regulator, Ofcom, in October 2011 revealed that UK satisfaction with broadband speeds lags behind other developed countries. UK broadband users were found to be less likely to agree with the statement “My internet connection is always fast enough for what I do online” than people from France, Germany, Italy, the United States, and Australia.

Satisfaction with mobile broadband speeds was even lower than for home broadband among UK customers. Over 20% of UK mobile broadband customers said that they disagreed or strongly disagreed that the speed was fast enough to meet their needs. In contrast, only 13% of German mobile broadband users were dissatisfied.

How Fast is UK Broadband?

The average home broadband speed in the UK is 6.3 Mbps, according to video streaming service Akamai, which has collected data from the various countries that it serves. Their findings, released in 2012, showed that the UK is lagging behind the US and other European nations when it comes to delivering faster internet to homes and businesses.

The fastest broadband speeds in the world can be found in East Asia, where South Koreans enjoy an average broadband speed of 14.7 Mbps more than twice as fast as sluggish UK connections. Astoundingly, the average broadband speed in Hong Kong reached 54 Mbps in 2012 making this high-tech island the proud owner of the fastest average broadband speed in the world.

What Can Be Done About Slow Broadband in the UK?

For a country that prides itself on being an attractive destination for global businesses, the UKs failure to rank in the top 10 countries for average broadband speed is worrying. As communications increasingly move online, a fast broadband service is essential for the efficient running of almost any business.

The UK government has been criticized for its failure to invest in super-fast high-speed broadband, with the current ruling coalition choosing instead to spend money on other infrastructure projects such as high-speed rail. Private investment from telecommunications providers such as BT and Virgin has improved speeds over the past couple of years, but there is still a long way to go to bring high-speed broadband to all UK homes.

How to Get Faster Broadband in the UK

So what can UK consumers do to increase the speed of their broadband at home? The speed of an internet connection is limited by the type of cable connecting the property to the exchange. Many homes still have very old copper cables that cannot support a high-speed connection. People living in these homes can get faster broadband by upgrading this connecting cable. Some UK telecommunications companies offer a free upgrade of this connection for users who sign up to a 12 or 24-month contract.

Ultimately, businesses in the United Kingdom will need faster Internet connections to keep pace with businesses around the world. In order to deliver greater speeds, UK broadband infrastructure needs to be improved. In particular, services in rural areas need to be brought up to speed, and mobile networks also need to be upgraded so that they can deliver much greater capacity.

When asked what is the best broadband speed in my area the author Sam Jones advises uSwitch,comparison website to compare all the main providers.


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