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.