Britain's Broadband Infrastructure Lags Behind the Rest of the World

Share Article

U.S. IT firm Cisco has just released a global study which shows the UK lagging behind its Asian and European neighbours in terms of the quality of thebroadband infrastructure. According to the report, the UK was found to "meet the needs for today", but is not among the 25 countries who are "comfortable for today" or "ready for tomorrow".

News Image
There is a clear pattern emerging, with Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the Asian

U.S. IT firm Cisco has just released a global study which shows the UK lagging behind its Asian and European neighbours in terms of the quality of the broadband infrastructure. According to the report, the UK was found to "meet the needs for today", but is not among the 25 countries who are "comfortable for today" or "ready for tomorrow".

The average broadband speed in the UK is just over 4 Mbs which is a little under the global average of 4.75 Mbs. But it is far short of the world leaders Japan and South Korea, who have average broadband speeds of over 90 Mbs and 40 Mbs respectively. The South Korean government recently committed to universal broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps (gigabit per second) by 2012.

Broadband download and upload speeds are key criteria in determining the quality of the broadband infrastructure, so Japan and South Korea join a group of 7 other nations in the "ready for tomorrow" category. These include Sweden, Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania, Lithuania, Netherlands and Denmark.

Charlie Ponsonby, CEO of Ofcom accredited broadband comparison service Simplifydigtial.co.uk comments:

"There is a clear pattern emerging, with Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the Asian "tiger" economies having far better developed broadband infrastructures. This may not give them a competitive edge today, but it certainly will tomorrow."

The majority of broadband users in the UK rely on a DSL broadband infrastructure provided via existing copper phone lines. DSL broadband has inherent upload and download speed constraints. The countries which enjoy far faster broadband speeds and are deemed "ready for tomorrow" rely on fibre-optic broadband networks for the great majority of their broadband services.

Britain has a fibre-optic broadband infrastructure which covers only 50% of UK homes, though plans are afoot to increase the footprint to circa 65% of UK homes. There is still some debate as to how the remaining 35% of homes will be reached and this has been the focus of the recently published Digital Britain Report.

It is estimated that countries will need an average download speed of 11.25Mbps and an upload speed of 5Mbps in order to handle future applications such as high definition video. But forecasting required broadband speed is fraught with difficulty. Many commentators disagree with this conservative view and all the countries which are "ready for tomorrow" are rolling out broadband infrastructures capable of far higher speeds.

Charlie Ponsonby concludes:
"The switch from dial-up, to broadband in the UK increased connection speeds by about 80 times. Since then, increases in broadband speed have slowed very sharply. The UK may "meet the needs of today", but it has a long way away from meeting the needs of tomorrow."

If you need help to compare broadband providers and compare broadband speeds by provider, why not call our broadband experts free on 0800 1 388 388 or use our online broadband comparison service.

About Simplifydigital:
Simplifydigital.co.uk offers a unique service in the UK, providing a free and impartial consultation for anyone looking to save money and compare broadband, compare digital TV, or compare home phone services.

Simplifydigital cuts through the confusion; offers the widest range of digital service providers available (including Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, AOL, Orange, 02, Top UpTV etc); and manages the customer through the install of the services.

It is the only retailer of digital TV, broadband and home phone services in the UK to have been accredited by Ofcom as impartial and transparent and on average saves customers over £300 pa by finding them better deals. Customers call free on 0800 1 388 388 or use their online service at http://www.simplifydigital.co.uk .

Contact details:
Charlie Ponsonby, CEO Simplify Digital Limited
M: 07703 502 634
DL: 020 3159 4071

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Charlie Ponsonby
Visit website

Media