In the UK we tend to beat ourselves up about league tables and wail about how bad things are and then if we do come top at something we act all embarrassed. Based on the latest set of data on speeds seen by Akamai for people utilising their Content Delivery Network (CDN) the position is one where if it was a school report it would read something like 'the UK is performing well in class, but with some more effort and application the UK could push itself into the top section'.
While the speed data produced by Akamai does not translate into a direct application for an individual's connection it can be used as one of several markers to judge our progress in what is a global economy. In terms of average speeds the UK showed a good increase and has a trend suggesting speeds are continuing to increase, perhaps reflecting the increased roll-out of superfast services by Openreach with a steady take-up and the myriad of other improvements across the UK, which range from much greater access to fixed wireless services to the small but increasing number of FTTH deployments.
|Rank||Country||Q1'12 Avg Mbps||Q2'12 Avg Mbps||Q3'12 Avg Mbps|
Given the current Government has a stated aim of being the best in Europe by 2015, looking at how we stand against other countries across Europe may be a better metric. The average peak speed represents the burst speed that was observed on connections and then averaged across the sample population. The fact that the burst is a lot higher for many countries simply represents the simple fact that broadband no matter whether wireless, using copper or fibre it is affordable only because it is a shared medium at some point, such that the speed we experience will vary depending on what the Internet population is up to.
|Global Rank||Country||Q2'12 Peak Mbps||Q3'12 Peak Mbps||YoY Change|
So we can celebrate that the UK is doing better than France and Germany, who share similar population sizes to the UK, which if one just wants to beat the major countries in Europe is good, but to be a true number one there is still lots more work to be done. In terms of climbing the league table the key is to be improving more than other countries.