Compiling data from the broadband markets around the world is always difficult, but InternetNZ commissioned a report comparing residential and business broadband in 26 OECD countries, the report can be downloaded from www.internetnz.net.nz. The report offers lots of information that people may want to discuss further, or ask questions about, and feel free to do so on our forums here.
Reading the report, the UK seems to come off badly compared to many countries, with a ranking of 20 out of 26 in terms of overall value for money. In which case one hates to think where we would have stood three years ago, when coverage, speeds of service and prices were a lot worse. One caveat with any of the reports that ranks countries, is that broadband is far from a static market place, and is altering constantly, for example the average retail package speed is now a lot higher than it was six months ago, but then other countries will also be advancing. Question in this case, is the UK advancing faster than other countries.
Some areas of the report are interesting, the UK is listed as around 72% of packages having a data cap of some sort. This includes providers listing a product with a fair use policy, what is interesting is that the United States is listed as having no caps, but you can find people on US broadband connections who've had warning letters for using too much bandwidth. So comparing what a provider says on its website and what happens in practice may be two different things. Another cloudy area, that draws much complaint in the UK is that of contention ratio's, and the report had trouble obtaining data, only getting figures for four countries.
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