Broadband News

OECD Broadband Statistics reveals UK still not the best

We may not be at the top of the charts but the take-up of broadband in the UK has improved moving us from 9th position in the world to 8th. The OECD has published its annual raft of statistics, the data is a little out of date - from September and December 2011 - but getting the data from the many governments and regulators takes time. We should highlight that the small amount of fibre shown for the UK is because VDSL2 (FTTC) is aggregated into the DSL figures.

OECD Fixed Broadband Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, December 2011
Click image for larger version

The UK may have a minuscule amount of Fibre/LAN subscriptions compared to Korea and Japan, but if the deployments by firms like IFNL, FibreCity, Ask4, Hyperoptic, and Openreach (which is still trialling its MDU service (FTTB)) continue, we will start to catch-up. Another metric that can be used to compare different countries is what speeds of broadband are advertised and as the chart below shows, the UK is lagging at 34,444 Kbps below the OECD average of 41,009 Kbps. The median (most common value) figures are interesting to look at, with the UK fractionally beating Japan; the large disparity in Japan probably being Gigabit services skewing the average, while many services are actually still advertising ADSL2+ type speeds.

OECD Average Advertised Download Speeds, September 2011
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The area where the UK generally wins is on the price of services, and the OECD has published the price per Mbps in the surveyed countries. The UK is not the cheapest, we are in the middle of the pack, but our highest price per Mbps is the lowest compared to all but two other countries (Korea and Denmark). This narrow price range reflects the level of retail competition in the UK, and how price sensitive UK consumers are.

OECD Broadband price per Mbps (US Dollar), September 2011
Note: Chart has logarithmic scale.
Click image for larger version

In theory the UK should be climbing the various metrics as alt-nets, Openreach and Virgin Media all upgrade networks or roll-out new faster services. The question really is how much faster we can achieve this than other EU countries if we are to make ourselves best in Europe. The relatively small dark fibre deployment in Birmingham and what other UK cities are planning are part of the larger plan to ensure the UK is seen as leading the pack.


'This narrow price range reflects the level of retail competition in the UK, and how price sensitive UK consumers are.....'

...and in a nutshell that explains why we have such poor results and such a struggle to get investment in this 'infrastucture'.

Trapped into mediocrity by competition and the GBP demands for something for nothing whilst trumpeting BS such as 'best in Europe'.

  • PhilCoates
  • over 8 years ago

The marketing departments didn't so much shoot themselves in the foot as chew it off and eat it.

Thankfully all those market one exchanges are now enjoying FTTH as there is no competition...

  • fibrebunny
  • over 8 years ago


Not quite all - heres my Market 1 exchange

ADSL status: Enabled as of 09/02/2005
ADSL Max status: Enabled as of 31/03/2006
SDSL status: Not available
21CN WBC status: Not available
FTTC status: Not available

  • PhilCoates
  • over 8 years ago

@philcoates @fibrebunny

Believe a teeny little of sarcasm was involved.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 8 years ago


No!!!.........really????? :>)

  • PhilCoates
  • over 8 years ago

Why does Fibre uptake matter? When a Fibre provider like Virgin media give a service which is consistently worse than the copper alternatives, it makes some of the numbers pointless.

As for the speeds....the speed doubling for VM customers that many were expecting between April and July, is now pushed back to October to November. As VM blame the Olympics for the delay, I am sure someone will also use that as an excuse for some of the not so good data in these graphs...

  • Joppy
  • over 8 years ago

If you could show me a copper alternative I can get where I am in London that beats this I'd appreciate it.

The average Download and Upload speeds that your device recorded over the last seven days was

Download Speed = 95.12 Mbps
Upload Speed = 4.87 Mbps

Not going to happen until 'VDSLMax' is released.

  • Dixinormous
  • over 8 years ago

I agree with Joppy, whats the point in 100Mb connections that you cant even game with.I have 50Mb VM fibre and my ping/latency is hitting 3000ms most nights.Its fast but its the worst quality connection you can get.

  • over 8 years ago

YMMV but

The spikes are automated speed tests.

  • Dixinormous
  • over 8 years ago

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