Broadband Speeds around the World – How Do They Compare?

By | March 26, 2012

Broadband Internet speeds vary greatly around the world and for a multitude of reasons. The birthplace of the Internet, the USA, actually has significantly lower average broadband speeds than dozens of other countries in the world. The same is true of the UK which, contrary to the advertising of many service providers in that country, actually has some of the slowest broadband rates in Europe.

The fastest broadband in the world is typically found in certain countries in the Far East, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. By contrast, the slowest average broadband rates are those in South America, Africa and Central Asia. Statistics vary considerably however, so it is hard to say for certain which country has the fastest broadband of all. The country which, for several years, has often come out on the top of the lists is South Korea.

These days, the fastest download speeds are often reported to be those of the small European country of Lithuania. Of course, as in any other country, speeds vary between certain urban and rural areas, but the average remains extremely high. Lithuania’s primary telecoms company, TEO, offers a broadband package for £20 per month which offers a staggering maximum download speed of 300Mbps!

Compare this to broadband speeds in the UK. The UK’s largest telecommunications company, BT, offers an unlimited broadband package for £35 per month with a maximum download speed of 100Mbps. However, it is only available in a very few areas of the country. Most urban areas can only obtain a maximum speed of 20Mbps while many rural areas are stuck with a limit of with 2Mbps or, in some cases; no broadband is available at all.

In Europe, aside from Lithuania, the next fastest broadband speeds are also in Eastern Europe with Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Latvia coming out top. The Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden, also have broadband speeds well above the world average. Internet in Central Europe is fairly quick, as it is in Spain and Portugal. Two of the countries with the slowest broadband in Europe are Italy and Poland. The Balkan countries and Greece also have very slow broadband.

The United States, Canada, Australia and Russia all have roughly the same average broadband speeds – around 12Mbps, like the UK. However, these four countries are enormous and it is most likely due to this fact that Internet speeds overall seem to be relatively low. In major urban areas, broadband speeds in all of these countries are normally very high.

Internet speeds vary around the world for many reasons. In smaller countries, it is easier and more cost-effective to lay fibre optic cabling to deliver extremely fast broadband. This is what makes Lithuania’s Internet among the fastest in the world. In larger areas, this is not practical due to prohibitively high costs. In large urban areas, however, Internet is typically much faster while rural populations and those living in more remote locations tend to get left behind.

About the Guest Post Author: Post contributed by Amy, on behalf of Cable.co.uk, a comparison site where you can search over 300+ broadband deals, TV and phone packages.