UK ranked fourth globally for fixed broadband speeds


UK ranked fourth globally for fixed broadband speeds

Kathleen Hall

The UK has been ranked fourth globally for fixed-line broadband internet access speeds, out of a list of 38 countries.

According to a report from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the ICT arm of the United Nations, the UK is also in the top 10 of 152 countries to have seen improved internet and broadband access between 2008 and 2010.

The news may come as a surprise to some, with a recent Ofcom broadband speed map revealing that large sections of the UK remain seriously behind in broadband speeds and connectivity.

The government has committed £363m to address this issue by aiming to provide 90% of UK homes with superfast broadband by 2015.

Global prices for fixed-line broadband have dropped by more than 50% over the past two years, the research also found.

Fixed-broadband penetration in developed countries climbed to almost 24% by the end of 2010, but growth is slowing, suggesting that saturation levels are being reached, while it stands at 4.2 % in developing countries, said ITU.

Brahima Sanou, director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau, said: "A new digital divide is unfolding between those with high-speed/capacity/quality access - as is the case in many high-income countries - and those with lower speed/capacity/quality access, as is the case in many low-income countries. Policy-makers should act swiftly to facilitate the spread of broadband and ensure that broadband services are faster, more reliable and affordable."

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