Fiber deployments fueled an average 23% increase year-over-year in global broadband speed to 9.10 Mbit/s, a new study finds. The disparity between leaders and laggards is immense with top-ranked Singapore's Internet access being 195 times faster than last-place Yemen.
Average speed compares with 7.4 Mbit/s in May 2017, according to CableCo. The top three nations -- Singapore at 60.39Mbit/s; Sweden at 46Mbit/s and Denmark at 43.99Mbit/s -- heavily invested in fiber, whereas those countries in last place among the 200 nations analyzed -- Yemen (0.31Mbit/s; East Timor (0.49Mbit/s) and Turkmenistan (0.56Mbit/s) -- did not have resources available to them for infrastructure outlay. (See US Broadband Speed Ranked Number 21.)
The five fastest countries have download speeds about 88 times faster than the five slowest, Cable said. That means, it would take a user about 11 minutes and 34 seconds to download a 5GB movie in Singapore, whereas their friend in Yemen would be downloading the same flick for more than one and a half days, the British ISP estimated.
"With average broadband speeds rising by 23% in just one year it would be easy to assume an overall positive global picture. However, a closer look reveals the acceleration is concentrated towards the top end: the faster countries are improving more quickly, with those towards the bottom end of the table verging on stagnation," said Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable, in to a statement.
"Europe, the United States and thriving economic centers in the Asia-Pacific region... are leading the world when it comes to the provision of fast, reliable broadband, which suggests a relationship between available bandwidth and economic health," he added. "Those countries leading the world should be congratulated, but we should also be conscious of those that are being left further and further behind."
Of the top 50 fastest-performing countries, 36 are in Europe; nine are in Asia/Pacific, two are in North America, two are in South/Latin America and one is in Africa. Flipping the coin, 25 of the 50 slowest-performing nations are in Africa, 12 in the Arab States, ten are in Asia and Pacific, and three are located in South/Latin America, the report finds.
Out of 200 countries, more than half -- or 136 -- did not hit average speeds above 10Mbit/s, a number Britain's Ofcom regulatory body deemed the minimal speed to satisfy connectivity requirements for a small business or family. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission requires fixed broadband of 25Mbit/s download and 3Mbit/s upload.
Discover where new opportunities lie or how your nation performed: Download an interactive map and searchable data set on this Cable page.
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Fast, reliable broadband is essential to how we live, work and play today – and the upcoming arrival of 5G will only further increase demand and reliance on fiber infrastructure. Already viewed by consumers as intolerable, delays, outages or the regular maintenance difficulties associated with operating a network will become further exacerbated when residential subscribers further rely on connected devices for day-to-day life. Just as providers deploy network automation tools to reduce operational issues, they must take similar care to manage consumer expectations when they roll out fiber or new services. This webinar features leaders who will discuss how to manage marketing and consumer expectations at every stage of the network lifecycle. Marketing professionals, c-level executives and policymakers interested in drumming up fiber envy should attend.