Category → Broadband
Broadband customers rejoice! Broadband speeds at the close of 2011 averaged out at 7.6Mpbs. That’s an increase on 6.2Mpbs. Overall, broadband speeds are up by 22%, according to consumer magazine Which? Ofcom cites the main reason for this as being that many customers have upgraded to faster broadband packages. Fibre optic and cable services still offer the fastest speeds (you can check out your broadband speed with a broadband speed test.)
However our average speeds are still slower than countries such as Latvia, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. Estonia tops the list with an impressive average speed of 40.91Mpbs and South Africa has the unhappy honour of being amongst the countries with the slowest broadband. Within a population of 50 million, the penetration of broadband facilities is estimated to be at about 10 per cent.
The British government is aiming to improve the situation by 2013. The plan is not simply about making entertainment more easily available on people’s home computers, but increasing access to government-published information. Industry spokespeople still criticise the persisting divide between rural and urban broadband utilities.
Other critics cite the disparity between advertised speeds and what customers are actually getting. New guidelines suggest that the advertised speeds must be achievable by 10% of the service provider’s customers. Others have commented that companies must be pressed to advertise an average speed alongside their highest speed capacities. Download speeds are rarely ever as high as advertised but upload speeds are usually closer to the truth.
It will probably come as a surprise that Britain lags behind less wealthy nations in the broadband speed stakes. However the cost of rolling out high speed broadband to an entire country has as much to do with existing communications infrastructure and the willingness of providers to invest in expanding their services where they might see less profit.