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UK Not Ready for Next Gen Internet Services


UK Not Ready for Next Gen Internet Services

A broadband report has said that that the UK’s internet infrastructure is not ready for the next generation services.

The survey, commissioned by networking company Cisco and conducted by the Said Business School and the University of Oviedo, did not list the UK as one of the 14 countries that were ready for the “applications of tomorrow”, such as HD quality video streaming.

However, the UK's 18th place overall, joint with Germany and Estonia, does mark a 20 per cent improvement in broadband speeds and reach since the last survey. This means that it is well placed to enjoy today’s applications, though those in UK in remote areas that can’t stream a basic YouTube video may disagree.

The top three ranking countries overall are Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan. The United States is 15th.

Globally broadband quality has improved by on average by 48 per cent since 2008, while average download speeds worldwide are up 49 per cent to 5.9Mbps. Perhaps more significantly, average upload speed has increased by 69 per cent to 1.7Mbps. Average latency has fallen by 25 per cent to 142ms.

The report also looked at mobile broadband and found that latency, one of the biggest weaknesses of mobile Internet access, has improved globally by 45 per cent in just one year, from 1313ms to 724ms. Average download speed is now 936 Kbps, up 35 per cent from 2009 and upload is now 277 Kbps, an increase of over 100 per cent from 2009.

While the UK may have work to do to get ready for the future the report shows what can be done with investment in the right areas. As Tony Hart, associate fellow of Saïd Business School, University of Oxford said, “If I had to pick one key aspect of this year’s study, it would be the unprecedented speed at which a country can become a broadband leader. While average broadband quality has improved by 20% in three years and penetration by 22%, some countries have seen improvements of over 50% in this time.”

BT’s fibre-to-the-Kerb product, BT Infinity is now starting to roll out across the country offering download speeds of up to 40Mbps, while Virgin offers currently offers 50Mbps and is readying 100Mbps.

Link: Broadband Report at Said Business School.


October 19, 2010, 8:30 pm

It is frustrating, having Virgin's 50Mb package, being limited by services that don't scale to high speeds. LoveFilm is a prime example, streaming incredibly low-quality films online. In comparison, streaming films on Xbox Live is brilliant, because their streams scale dynamically to really quite high quality on the top end.


October 19, 2010, 8:50 pm

This is precisely what I feel like yelling at the screen, each time someone hails the new era of cloud computing and explains how we don't need to own media or keep any files on local storage... nice idea in theory; in practice most of us are years away from realising it.


October 19, 2010, 11:03 pm

We ARE ready. We want it NOW ...!!!


October 19, 2010, 11:27 pm

I just watched an episode of Click and they were looking at South Korea's plans to rollout 1 Gbps nationwide. It's just embarrassing how slow we are here. We can barely handle 3G as it is.


October 20, 2010, 1:50 am

@Benny - The UK isn't actually in 18th place overall. In fact, it's in 25th place, since there are 24 other countries ahead of it in the list of rankings. But the list is a bit confusing (among other things it says 'Top 30', then goes on to list 34 countries...) so I can see how one might make that mistake.

The UK does however have the 18th best score, along with Germany and Estonia (which is another weird thing since they DO list Germany as one of the 14 countries that are ready for 'applications of tomorrow'). But in the list they still occupy places 25, 26 and 27.


October 20, 2010, 3:03 am

Will we get that stupid "you will get 'UP TO' 50MB's Second download speed" comment that call centres tell us every single time we complain that- we are not getting the speed we are paying for.

Its taken me 10 years on Talk Talk or used to be called AOL, which used to be called Compu-serve. To get from a 56k modem dial up to 3 MB's to 8MB's to the present 15MB's. I pay for 24MB's a second and maybe in a few years time I may get 24MB's a Second.

One question on everyboys mind is if I had 50MB fibre optic then what am I goning to use it for?

I suppose there are places that are a lot worse off like Africa for instance. I know the people over there just mess the internet up because they cannot go without a day without downloading some movie. It messes it up the bandwith for everybody and thank god we live in a country were we can brag about our 50MB's a second braodband.

enough said here.


October 20, 2010, 3:17 pm

I now have the lucky opportunity to sign up to BT Infinity, which advises me of an expected speed on 24MB/s of a potential 40MB/s. That is more than 10 times what I'm getting with OneTel (read TalkTalk) currently. I'm sorely tempted to switch, but I'm put off by the fact it's BT.


October 20, 2010, 4:20 pm

The report does seem a little dodgy, Look at the scatterplot on page 9 for example. The UK appears to have around 70-75% broadband penetration (the percentage of people who have access to broadband). Given that ofcom are saying that 71% of homes actually have broadband and there's a story opposite this on TR claiming that maybe as many as one in three people in the UK don't use it then that figure looks awfully fishy.

ofcom: http://media.ofcom.org.uk/2010...


" I pay for 24MB's a second and maybe in a few years time I may get 24Mb's a Second."

No you don't, you pay for an uncapped ADSL 2+ connection and that's what your contract will say. You're getting exactly what you pay for and the issue isn't that ISPs are being lazy or not doing their job but that customers generally don't understand what they're buying. Unfortunately there's no simple solution as there's no way to give an accurate speed before the connection is set up and has been running for ten days.

There are plenty of things a 50Mb/s connection is useful for. Video is probably the obvious one, with current connections being unable to deliver a decent video to a high resolution TV or monitor. 50Mb/s will get you blu-ray quality, although you'll need to double it again for 3d.

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