UK broadband ranks 31st fastest in world

Out of 189 countries considered, the UK ranks only 31 in terms of average broadband speeds, at a rate of 16.51Mbps.

Comparatively the UK ranks behind 19 European countries, with Singapore having the world’s fastest broadband with an average connection of 51.13Mbps. Yemen was ranked with the world’s slowest rate of connection at 0.34Mbps. 

The new rankings compiled by, for a study conducted by M-Lab, was completed as a partnership with New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research and Princeton University’s PlanetLab.

The study revealed reasons why broadband speeds may have been slower in particular areas. In Africa, where 17 of the slowest 30 countries are located, the fixed connections are costly and therefore the most often occurring method of connectivity is the mobile. 

A total of 139 countries were not able throughout the period of testing to achieve average speeds above 10Mbps, which is the speed that Ofcom deems to be the minimum speed necessary to adequately deal with needs of a typical family or small business.

Commenting on the findings Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at, 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. Superfast rollout in the UK continues apace. Goals are being met, new initiatives undertaken and public funds being made available. However, clearly there are lessons to be learned both from Europe and from those topping the table."

In the UK, the majority of UK’s broadband infrastructure utilise fibre to the cabinet technology (FTTC). However within this copper is utilised for the final few metres of the connection, which slows down the speeds further.

Currently there are many plans being set in motion, including that of Openreach for a wide spread rollout, to implement fibre to the premise (FTTP) instead of FTTC, with the hope of improving connectivity. Other broadband providers are starting to provide a ‘pure’ fibre option with the goal of improving connectivity within rural communities.

It is through studies such as this, that we are reminded of the importance of investing in improved internet connectivity across the UK.