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Broadband speeds: UK fails to make Akamai world top 100 as average speeds drop

The UK has failed to make the world’s top 100 fastest broadband cities as our average broadband speeds fell last year.

Akamai’s latest State Of The Internet report places the United Kingdom 12th in Europe, with an average broadband speed of 4.9Mbps at the end of 2011.

That’s 3.5 per cent per cent lower than in September 2011 although it is 14 per cent better than in 2010.

Akamai State Of The Internet: UK average broadband speeds

It wasn’t just the UK that saw broadband speeds slow down at the end of last year – with the global average speed falling 14 per cent to 2.3Mbps.

“Globally, 93 countries/regions that qualified for inclusion saw average connection speeds decline, ranging from a loss of just 0.3% per cent in Kyrgyzstan to a 31 per cent drop in Kuwait,” said Akamai.

“While the short-term (quarterly) trends may not have been particularly positive, long-term (yearly) trends tell a much better story.

“For the year, the global average connection speed was up a solid 19 per cent, with double-digit percentage growth seen in eight of the top 10 countries and the United States.”

The world’s fastest broadband speeds are still found in South Korea – with an average of 17.5Mbps, followed by Japan and Hong Kong on 9.1Mbps.

The Netherlands is Europe’s fastest country and the world’s number four, at 8.2Mbps, followed by Latvia (7.2Mbps), Switzerland (7.3Mbps), and Ireland (6.8Mbps).

The fastest European city was Timisoara, Romania, which ranked 89th globally with an average connection speed of 7.4Mbps and an average peak speed of 43.9 Mbps.

With 91 per cent of us taking over-2Mbps connections, the UK has the seventh-highest broadband adoption rate in Europe, and just half a per cent of homes have connections under 256kbps.

Akamai State Of The Internet: UK broadband adoption

We’re also 10th in Europe for high speed broadband take-up, though, with just 30 per cent of British homes enjoying speeds over 5Mbps.

Akamai State Of The Internet: UK high speed broadband adoption

The average peak connection speed in the UK isn’t a slouch on European terms, at 20.4Mbps compared to Belgium’s speedy 26.7Mbps, but we limp along compared to South Korea at 47.9Mbps.

Akamai State Of The Internet: UK peak broadband speeds

Note: Akamai includes Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Israel and the UAE in its Americanised map of Europe – we’ve corrected the rankings.