Only 9 countries ready for future broadband applications

A study looking at the quality of broadband across 66 countries worldwide has found that only nine countries are ready for future demand, with two-thirds meeting the criteria for today's requirements only. The study placed each country into one of four groups according to network speed and penetration.

The study, which was conducted for Cisco by Oxford University's Said Business School and the University of Oviedo's Department of Applied Economics, found that countries such as Korea, Latvia, Bulgaria and Denmark are better prepared for future Internet use than most of Europe and the United States.

Researchers looked at how fit countries were to cope with the demands of today's users by looking at a set of applications consumers are likely to use today, such as video streaming and photo sharing, as well as future applications, such as watching high-definition video.

The research was based on speed tests done via speedtest.net, which were combined with the broadband penetration for each of the countries studied. Cisco's communication manager, Joanne Hughes, believes this gives better results than other studies.

"Most studies are based just on broadband penetration or, if they look at speed they look at advertised speeds rather than real speeds," she said. "We wanted to look at the issue of broadband quality which is vital as new applications come along."

The average download speed globally was found to be 4.75Mbps, with an average upload speed of 1.3Mbps. The results of the study are as follows:

Countries "ready for tomorrow": Korea, Japan, Sweden, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Netherlands, Romania and Denmark.
Countries "comfortable for today": Switzerland, Czech Republic, Norway, United States, Slovakia, Portugal, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Belgium, Slovenia, Taiwan, Austria and Hong Kong.
Countries "meeting needs for today": Iceland, Estonia, Greece, Singapore, Canada, UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, New Zealand, Ukraine, Turkey, Ireland and Italy.
Countries "below needs for today": Malta, Luxembourg, Chile, China, Qatar, Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Bahrain, Thailand, Tunisia, Mexico, Philippines, UAE, Malaysia, Pakistan, Colombia, Morocco, Vietnam, South Africa and Indonesia.

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Being in Canada sucks, I get 2.5Mbits/s:


And right now they are trying to axe my bandwidth cap to 60gb a month instead of trying to fix the network. Also the Canada is so big thing is BS i dont live in hicks ville Ontario. I live in the sixth? largest city in Canada bordering on the largest (Toronto) and I cant even get the 5mbits I pay for.

I'm in a medium sized town in the U.S. and I'm happy with my fairly consistant dl speeds of 25-30mb from Time Warner cable. Been with them for 11yrs with only one minor price hike, regular bumps in speed w/o paying more and no cap. And also, in my area at least, excellent customer service. Absolutely no complaints from me.

It is irrelevant whether NZ meets the needs of tomorrow. Since if we do, the price is more similar to extortion.

Canada, UK, Australia are one step above a failing grade. No surprise there.. 1rst world countries? Ruled by corrupt organizations who fail to upgrade systems but would rather throttle bandwidth than spend to upgrade hardware. Also.. no true competition..

I'm not surprised by the United States' position, but some of the other countries listed are definitely surprises. I would have expected the UAE to be higher on the list...

Very interesting list though.

I find Canadian broadband is adequate. But if cellular broadband were to be taken into consideration, Canada is by far ahead of the US. In the US, AT&T only started to upgrade their 3G network to HSDPA 7.2 Mbps in June along with the iPhone 3G(S) launch, while in Canada, Rogers recently unveiled HSPA+ 20Mbps.

I have no qualms with speeds really. I'm on DSL, so I get around 4mbps, which is fine, although I wish we could get cable speeds on DSL. My biggest issue, however, is bandwidth limits. I'd switch to cable, if we weren't limited to 60GB a month. My current limit is 200GB a month, and I'm beginning to exceed that, so I'm considering paying for the unlimited account which is only 10$ more.

MulletRobZ said,
I find Canadian broadband is adequate. But if cellular broadband were to be taken into consideration, Canada is by far ahead of the US. In the US, AT&T only started to upgrade their 3G network to HSDPA 7.2 Mbps in June along with the iPhone 3G(S) launch, while in Canada, Rogers recently unveiled HSPA+ 20Mbps.


AT&Ts 3g speed isn't even considered 3G...it sucks, big time

WICKO said,
I have no qualms with speeds really. I'm on DSL, so I get around 4mbps, which is fine, although I wish we could get cable speeds on DSL. My biggest issue, however, is bandwidth limits. I'd switch to cable, if we weren't limited to 60GB a month. My current limit is 200GB a month, and I'm beginning to exceed that, so I'm considering paying for the unlimited account which is only 10$ more.
We just switched from Rogers to Bell and I tried to upgrade to the 12mb package and it isnt even available in my area. I hate DSL. At least with Cable I could get more than 6mb connection.

WICKO said,
I have no qualms with speeds really. I'm on DSL, so I get around 4mbps, which is fine, although I wish we could get cable speeds on DSL. My biggest issue, however, is bandwidth limits. I'd switch to cable, if we weren't limited to 60GB a month. My current limit is 200GB a month, and I'm beginning to exceed that, so I'm considering paying for the unlimited account which is only 10$ more.


Careful with those so-called "unlimited" accounts...last time I checked Sympatico (before I dropped them) they offered an "unlimited" package for an extra $25 above what you're currently paying, but their unwritten rule (I almost had to beat it out of their service rep) is that it still has a 200GB/month limit--making it entirely pointless.

LOL Canada... we're just "meeting the needs". And when I say to people that we are an underdeveloped country, they won't believe me.

Malta "below needs for today" ??? Our minimum internet package here starts from 5Mbps and goes up to 50 Mbps. What are the current standards for today then?

and..

jbonello said,
no surprise re: Malta ... we've got ADSL2+ all over the country yet the telephone lines are not capable of handling them so the modems are resynching all the time = no decent internet experience. not to mention the costs ...

Its not as bad as your making it.. only €6 a month for 5Mbps is cheap!

no surprise re: Malta ... we've got ADSL2+ all over the country yet the telephone lines are not capable of handling them so the modems are resynching all the time = no decent internet experience. not to mention the costs ...

Oh god you will love this. Here in Qatar we pay about 50 $ for a 2 Mbps ADSL connection...I wish I lived somewhere else.

I wonder what is required to be fit for tomorrow? My 2mbit/s download which is max in quite many places in Sweden is quite bad... Of course, i live in the forest in cities and even standard towns there is 8mbit/s or more so...

I'd say you could get at least 24Mbps downspeed pretty much anyware (at least where there are people living) here in Sweden. Only far out in the forest that you can't, but 2Mbps far out in the forest is not so bad either... I live in a city and I have 50Mbps down/10Mbps up, actual speed (not only what the internet provider says). I can live with that

Hahaha...Arab Countries are in the "below needs for today". That plus unbelievable internet censorship renders the internet semi-useless. Bloody governments.

im happy with my speeds with Shaw(canada)
I get around 25-30 down on speedtests but i pay for 15
Id much rather the prices drop, than the speeds go up,because theyll just keep charging more for the internet of 'tomorrow'

unless we are lucky to have any ISP remove the brutal bandwidth caps they started recently, the speeds we get won't matter, and we'll never be ready for current or future applications

profets said,
unless we are lucky to have any ISP remove the brutal bandwidth caps they started recently, the speeds we get won't matter, and we'll never be ready for current or future applications

well, i havent been having issues with shaw's cap, 100gb
i know ive gone over plenty, but they dont seem to care for my area at least

the 8MB or according to speedtest(it says my dl speed is 25MB/s) is way more than enough for my needs. i think the higher speeds only are needed if you say run a server or something that needs high speeds.

I have heard that there are still people in the US that do not have broadband. They use those strange modems with the funny sound that will block their phone line. There are also people there who do not have a mobile phone..

Here in Denmark you will also be able to find people who do not have broadband. But I think it will be difficult to find one. Even my 64 year old mom who is highly technology illiterate has a mobile phone and a laptop with 3 G internet. She gets her paycheck over the internet and figured she had to get a computer.

Perhaps one reason for the low broadband penetration in the US is that there are areas in the US that is very low populated. That would make is costly to develop a broadband society. In Denmark there are discussions to roll out fiber to all households. I think that is currently a unlikely to happen. But maybe in a few years... My guesstimate is that US is 5 years behind Denmark. I already now can tell you the next thing for you will be 3G mobile internet on laptop and mobile phone.

That pretty much sums it up. There are lots of areas in the US that are very rural and something like broadband short of satellite is foreign to them. The broadband companies likely don't see the need to rush out to those places and jack them all up with high-speed. Not that they don't want/need it per se, just simple $$ issues. If the US was not as spread out as it is, this wouldn't be such an issue. Smaller countries, physically, should have it easier.

I beg to differ.

I believe the US companies try to milk the cow as much as they can before she drops dead and besides that there are loads of monopolistic issues.

I live in NYC (and don't tell me that it is thinly populated) there is only one and only one ADSL provider here. Even in a country such small as the Netherlands, you'd be able to choose among 10 ADSL providers in any given area. No competition, no innovation. (well the only alternative in NYC is cable and this is what they call "competition")

It should come no surprise to any one that the regular ADSL speed in NYC is 3Mbs (this is sad, as my ADSL connection in the Netherlands was 20Mbs even 5 years ago and I used to live in a rather small city there).

The problem is with the overal infrastructure of the US. No one wants to invest, everyone wants to charge as much as they can.

There is this FIOS service of course which is going to introduce 30MBs speed but I guess so far there are three houses in NYC who has access to this service.

Can you believe that I usually don't have AT&T reception in the office, and my office is in Times Square!!

ricknl said,
I beg to differ.

I believe the US companies try to milk the cow as much as they can before she drops dead and besides that there are loads of monopolistic issues.

I live in NYC (and don't tell me that it is thinly populated) there is only one and only one ADSL provider here. Even in a country such small as the Netherlands, you'd be able to choose among 10 ADSL providers in any given area. No competition, no innovation. (well the only alternative here is cable and this is what they call "competition")

It should come no surprise to any one that the regular ADSL speed in NYC is 3Mbs (this is sad, as my ADSL connection in the Netherlands was 20Mbs even 5 years ago, I used to live in a rather small city there).

The problem is with the overal infrastructure of the US. No one wants to invest, everyone wants to charge as much as they can.

There is this FIOS service of course which is going to introduce 30MBs speed but I guess so far there are three houses in NYC who has access to this service.

Can you believe that I usually don't have AT&T reception in the office, and my office is in Times Square!!


Tell me about it lol, and cable SUCKS...you almost never ever get the speed you pay for.

My house is quite weird, during the day I will get 4 bars AT&T...and at night it magically drops to 1 bar. It's like they shut off the cell phone towers at night or something.

I come back to HK and for what I pay for 15mbps / 2mbps ****ty ass cable in America I get 100mbps / 100mbps here.

jacob667 said,
I have heard that there are still people in the US that do not have broadband. They use those strange modems with the funny sound that will block their phone line. There are also people there who do not have a mobile phone...

Yeah, they're called the Amish

No surprise that Great Britain and NI are miles behind.

No Surprise that S.Korea are on top, well you can get 1,000 megabit connections there for £10 per month.

I believe virginmedia is making a great change for the UK with the testing of 200Mbps, hopefully we can be able to buy 200Mbps in the UK soon! be great.

SuperKid said,
I believe virginmedia is making a great change for the UK with the testing of 200Mbps, hopefully we can be able to buy 200Mbps in the UK soon! be great.

But even still, in a vast majority of towns, cable is still not available.

nevann said,
We're not gonna need fast speeds when we're all banned from the net after 3 strikes

Not here, in Netherlands it is legal to download whether it is music or movies etc.
But illegal to upload.

Yinchie said,
Not here, in Netherlands it is legal to download whether it is music or movies etc.
But illegal to upload.

*Starts packing*

Yinchie said,
Not here, in Netherlands it is legal to download whether it is music or movies etc.
But illegal to upload.


Same here in the US. That's why all the people the RIAA and etc. are suing are the ones using BitTorrent and other "sharing" setups that require you to upload while you download.

I assume the "Meeting needs for today" is the average speed of the UK.

If we all were on cable internet, rather than the majority on 1-2mbps BT line, it'd be a lot higher.

The Jambo said,
If we all were on cable internet, rather than the majority on 1-2mbps BT line, it'd be a lot higher.

Yeah we'd all be at 10mb for till we hit the cap. Then throtted back to 1mb

I'm not "comfortable today". It takes forever for an HD video to buffer on YouTube! And I've got a 6Mbps connection so that can't be the problem!

For Japan and Korea yes - those are undoubted the two countries with the best internet access and broadband speeds.
However, finding underdeveloped countries like Lithuania, Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania in the same category as them looks very, very fishy to me.
I seriously doubt their internet is even remotely as good as that of Japan or Korea.

Lord Ba'al said,
For Japan and Korea yes - those are undoubted the two countries with the best internet access and broadband speeds.
However, finding underdeveloped countries like Lithuania, Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania in the same category as them looks very, very fishy to me.
I seriously doubt their internet is even remotely as good as that of Japan or Korea.

Actually here in Bulgaria we truly have one of the best Inet connections - average local Bulgarian speeds are around 4-6 MB/s (32-48 Mbps) down and 2-4 MB/s (16-32 Mbps) upload and international 1.5-2.5 MB/s (12-20Mbps) for approx 10 EUR/month. There are pretty much optic-fiber connections directly to the home (FTTH). The usual DSL connections in USA/UK here are the last possible option :P