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Europe dominates global broadband speed ranking

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The average global broadband speed rose last year according to a new report
The average global broadband speed rose last year according to a new report   -   Copyright  Tony Webster
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Singaporeans enjoy the fastest broadband speed in the world but Europe boasts the highest concentration of countries with fast or very fast broadband, a new report has found.

Data collected over 12 months by M-Lab — a partnership between the Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research and Princeton University’s PlanetLab — show the average global broadband speed rose by 23% year-on-year to 9.10Mbps in 2018.

But the improvement was mostly recorded in developed nations that already have established infrastructure.

“There is comparatively little development — and therefore little change in availability and/or uptake of faster infrastructure — in the bottom half of the league table compared to the top half,” the report highlights.

Singapore tops the league table of 200 countries with an average speed of 60.39Mbps, far ahead of the second spot occupied by Sweden, where broadband speed averaged 46.00Mbps in the 12 months ending May 29.

Denmark, Norway, Romania, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Hungary and Jersey complete the top ten.

The US comes in at the 20th position, with a mean download speed of 25.86 Mbps.


The Old Continent has the highest concentration of countries with fast or very fast broadband, the research found. All 53 European countries measured made it into the top half of the ranking.

“In fact, Europe makes up a staggering 36 of the top 50 fastest countries,” the report underscores.

The UK, however, slipped four positions year-on-year to 35th in 2018 with an average speed of 18.57 Mbps. The report warns it is likely to slip further

“Compared to many other countries both in and out of Europe, the UK has simply come too late to a full fibre solution, relying instead on copper to cover the last mile,” Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable — which compiled the data — said.

“Despite plans to roll out full fibre to UK homes across the next decade or so, the UK is likely to fall even further behind while we wait,” Howdle added.

Below is the average broadband speed in European countries:

Bottom countries

“Africa is a long way behind the rest of the world when it comes to broadband provision,” the report flags, as the continent relies primarily on wireless connectivity (3G, 4G) rather than on cables.

Madagascar is one of the exceptions thanks to an underwater cable supplying the island with “respectable fibre broadband speeds.” It is ranked 22nd globally with an average speed of 24.87 MBps.

The bottom ten countries of the league table all have broadband speeds clocking in at less than 0.90Mbps. They are Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Syria, Mauritania, Guinea, Somalia, Turkmenistan, East Timor and war-ridden Yemen where the average speed is 0.31Mbps.