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UK better than Croatia, but lags behind France in broadband speeds

Staff Writer |
Ahead of Wednesday's much-anticipated World Cup semi-final, Brits can take some solace in the fact that their broadband is at least faster than Croatia's.

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But the nation's hotchpotch of a broadband network, consisting of copper phone lines, coaxial cable and fibre optic, still sits far behind many of its peers, according to a recent analysis.

The study, which collated more than 163 million broadband speed tests around the world, put the UK sits in 35th place, with an average speed of 18.57Mbps.

Last year, it was in 31st place in the same study.

Croatia - whose national football team could be the cause of celebration or commiseration across England come Wednesday's match - was in 42nd place this year, with an average speed of 15.60Mbps.

The analysis looked at the 12 months up to 29 May, and was conducted by M-Lab - a partnership between New America's Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research, Princeton University's PlanetLab and other supporting partners, and compiled by Cable.

The UK managed to top 165 other countries, but still fell behind 34 others, coming in behind 25 European countries - 20 of which are in the European Union (EU).

That put the UK in the bottom third of EU member states when it came to average broadband speed.

The five fastest countries had download speeds around 88 times faster than the five slowest, with Singapore topping the table at 60.39Mbps, compared to Yemen, which is was more than 195 times slower at just 0.31Mbps.

That means downloading a high-definition movie of 5GB in size would take 11 minutes and 34 seconds on average in Singapore, and more than one and a half days in Yemen.

Looking regionally, 36 of the top 50 fastest-performing countries were located in Europe, with nine in the Asia Pacific area, two in North America, two in Latin America and just one in Africa.

By contrast, 25 of the 50 slowest-performing countries were located in Africa, 12 in the Arab States, 10 in Asia Pacific, and three in Latin America.

A total of 136 countries failed to achieve average speeds above 10Mbps - a speed deemed by UK telecoms regulator Ofcom to be the minimum required to cope with the needs of a typical family or small business.

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