Networking expert Cisco has released the details of its third annual study of the state of broadband worldwide.
The research used to compile the global rankings was put together by the Said Business School of Oxford university, and it covered some 72 countries and 239 cities.
Overall, it found that 14 countries, almost one in five, were prepared for the Internet “applications of tomorrow”. Unfortunately, the UK wasn’t one of them. The 14 in question were: South Korea, Japan, Latvia, Sweden, Bulgaria, Finland, Romania, Lithuania, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Germany, Portugal, Denmark and Iceland.
However, the better news for the UK is that it at least shows we’ve moved up from last year’s 25th position in the worldwide broadband league to 18th, where we’re tied with Germany. We were labelled as “comfortably enjoying today’s applications”, but clearly not ready for tomorrow’s yet.
48 countries including ourselves, exactly two-thirds, are meeting the requirements to use the main services offered on the Internet today. That’s 10 more countries than last year.
The study showed that the average global download speed has increased by 49% in three years, up to 5.9Mbps (from 3.2Mbps). South Korea is still way ahead at the top of the table, increasing its lead with an average download speed of 33.5Mbps, up 55% on 2009.
Tony Hart, Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School, commented: “Some emerging economies, such as Latvia and Bulgaria have been able to show improvements in broadband leadership of around 60% in just one year. Kenya has the record with a 174% improvement over three years – albeit from a very small starting point.”
“Compared to the many growth-enabling infrastructures of the past – the telephone, electricity, railways, etc. – which took many decades or even centuries to impact the wider population, we can see that high quality Internet access can have an impact on the bulk of the population within just a few years, and its impact will reach the developing world much faster than any other technology of the past.”