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UK broadband 8th best in the world says OEDC

Jury’s out on whether or not Team GB will walk away with 95 medals but the UK can at least expect to start climbing the OEDC’s broadband table in the near future.

The latest results from the OEDC’s annual figures (collected during September and December 2011) show that the UK occupies the 8th position out of the 34 countries that make up the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

33.3 per 100 citizens in the UK have broadband of some form or other, level with Germany slightly but behind South Korea (35.4), Norway (35.7) and France (35.9).

UK broadband 8th best in the world says OEDC

Topping the chart was Switzerland (39.9), followed by the Netherlands (39.1) and Denmark (37.9).

Breaking down the types of broadband connections in each country is a little trickier. The OEDC report doesn’t count Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) lines as ‘true’ fibre. FTTC figures are aggregated into DSL numbers, due to the last mile being old-school copper and not fibre.

OEDC: FTTC isn’t fibre. Apparently.

This means a good chunk of the 10 million lines that BT has connected won’t likely figure in the next round of reporting this time next year.

That said, the UK is due to climb up the table. Amid BT’s rollout we’ve seen FTTP lines sneaking in to 15 areas in the UK and the likes of Hyperoptic and B4RN offering full fibre to the premises in the town and country respectively. Oh alright, London and north east Lancashire.

The fact is that last year and even now the majority of broadband lines in the UK are of the ADSL variety.

This means that the average UK broadband speed, pegged here at 3.4Mbps, lingers below the OECD average of 4.1Mbps.

Since last December, the official UK average broadband speed has risen to 7.6Mbps. With the rollout of BT’s network – whether the OEDC considers it ‘true’ fibre or not – the average is set to climb even higher next year.

Though dated, the figures make for interesting reading. Today’s announcement from BT and the Welsh Government will see more places in Wales getting fibre from spring 2013, further cementing Team GB’s chance at the podium for the Broadband Olympics 2013. We’re perhaps too cynical to suggest that we’re in with a shot for gold but bronze would be nice. It’s better than copper…