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UK Has Fastest Mobile Internet While US Lags Behind, Says Report (theverge.com) 136

An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Verge: Content delivery network Akamai says the UK has the best average mobile connection speeds in the world. The State of the Internet report claims that British mobile users were able to get average speeds of 27.9 Mbps when connecting to Akamai's HTTP/S platform in Q1 2016, beating most countries in Europe by an average of more than 10 Mbps, and the United States' average speed by more than 20 Mbps. For comparison, the U.S. had an average connection speed of 5.1 Mbps, which was lower than Turkey, Kenya, and Paraguay, and on par with Thailand. Many European countries more than doubled the average U.S. speed, including Slovakia with 13.3 Mbps, France with 11.5 Mbps, and Germany with 15.7 Mbps. Algeria was only 2.9 Mbps slower than the United States' average with 2.2 Mbps, and they had the lowest average speed of countries included in the report. Akamai says its data shows that regular internet connections have continued to increase in speed, jumping 12 percent from Q4 2015 to 6.3 Mbps in Q1 2016, which is a year-on-year boost of 23 percent. Peak connection speed also rose to 34.7 Mbps, a 6.8 percent increase from the last quarter, and a 14 percent increase year-on-year. In addition, mobile data traffic is rising from just over 3,500 petabytes per month in Q1 2015 to more than 5,500 petabytes per month in the same period this year.
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UK Has Fastest Mobile Internet While US Lags Behind, Says Report

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  • The UK is pretty small. I didn't see stats for Australia but I know I can get over 40Mbps in Sydney or Brisbane but drive from Sydney to Brisbane and and most of the way you are lucky to get 2G dialup speed for the 1000km journey.
    • by King-Raz ( 51985 )

      Yes, and in the UK, outside of the urban/suburban areas the mobile and wired internet are both atrocious. The Akamai study is not going to include people with *no* working mobile internet so should be taken with a pinch of salt

      • Yes, and in the UK, outside of the urban/suburban areas the mobile and wired internet are both atrocious.

        Yet here I am in a small town of 11,000 people living in a county that is 1.5 times the size of London with only 1/20th of its population and I get:
        70mbps down and 19mbps up for my landline:
        http://www.speedtest.net/my-re... [speedtest.net]
        And for 3G speedtests in the same area I get 20.7mbit down, 11.97mbit up:
        http://www.speedtest.net/my-re... [speedtest.net]

    • Re:The USA is Huge (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2016 @07:34PM (#52416779)

      The UK is pretty small.

      Yeah and the US is large. But New York city has a higher population density than Tokyo, yet only a fraction of the internet speeds. So while you can argue that there is a large area with no or low speed access, you can't excuse crap service in prime areas

      • by ttsai ( 135075 )

        The UK is pretty small.

        Yeah and the US is large. But New York city has a higher population density than Tokyo, yet only a fraction of the internet speeds. So while you can argue that there is a large area with no or low speed access, you can't excuse crap service in prime areas

        It would be really interesting to see the distribution of ISP speeds by country. For example, the Akamai report shows that while South Korea's average speed is 29.0 Mbps, the majority (58%) of South Korean connections are slower than 25 Mbps. Thus, there are perhaps some very high speed connections that somewhat inflate the average. Absent some representation of the distribution, perhaps the median speed would be more representative.

        It's also interesting to note that the study methodology is significant.

      • by joboss ( 4453961 )
        England has one of the highest population densities in the world and quite a large population as well making it very attractive to mobile and broadcasting businesses. The chances are where ever you invest in the UK you'll get a return on your coverage. It's not as super dense in places though as for example Tokyo. Honestly, I expect that super density is actually worse because of contention, interference, etc. There's a sweet spot and the UK is fairly close to it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can we have a poll on whether to remove the EU tag from stories about the UK?

    • Yes, but it would be non-binding, and if more than 50% vote Remove, then the Slashdot editor who posted the poll will have to step down.
    • Aside from the possible re-vote... I think we should honor their wishes and just pull the tag unilaterally. If for no other reason than to help scare other possible exit voters into voting to stay..

  • by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2016 @07:14PM (#52416705)
    ..is fast wireless, when you packets cant brexit the island?
  • Area (Score:2, Informative)

    by slowdeath ( 2836529 )

    The area of the UK is about 95K sq miles, about the same as the state of Wyoming. The 48 contiguous states are 30X larger than the UK in area.

    So yeah it is a lot easier to deploy infrastructure when the amount you have to deploy is 30X less.

    • But with 30x the customers, paying 30x the subscription fees, building larger infrastructure shouldn't be an issue...

      ...unless you're intentionally neglecting infrastructure upgrades because you have no real competition (as all your competitors are doing the same thing) and instead your profits are redirected to shareholders and C-Suite bonuses.

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      So yeah it is a lot easier to deploy infrastructure when the amount you have to deploy is 30X less.

      No it isn't, you can't just simply put infrastructure anywhere in the UK at all, there is already existing infrastructure and private land in the way. When it isn't, we've got places like three houses on top of a mountain in Wales or Scotland.

      Additionally, unlike the US, we deploy more infrastructure, what I mean by this is every 2nd street corner typically has a telephone cabinet where all the houses are link

  • I would like to set up a wall around the UK isps. Instead of sending all our web traffic out of the country or to places like the EU, let's keep our traffic British.
  • Wires are faster and you aren't broadcasting your traffic to everyone in the coffeeshop.

    Despite everyone having faster home and mobile internet than typical US households, the US seems to make the most money off the internet.

  • This comparison is somewhat misleading because the entire UK is only about the size of 2-3 US states:

    http://www.travelersdigest.com... [travelersdigest.com]

    • by dave420 ( 699308 )

      And yet when you compare cities, the US is still way behind on internet access. This "but we so biiiig!" argument is just a pathetic excuse. The US telecoms market is rotten, yet some people don't want to accept that because of some weird patriotism or insecurity. It's sad.

  • Who cares how fast we can connect to Akamai? Worthless.
    • by Mouldy ( 1322581 )
      A lot of the worlds biggest websites are frontend by Akamai. From wikipedia; companies (past & present) include; Apple, Microsoft, Valve's Steam, BBC iPlayer, Rackspace, Adobe, Yahoo, ESPN, NBC, MTV, Hilton, etc etc. Akamai's own website says they handle 15-30% of the world's web traffic - which I don't believe is too far off the mark.

      So yes, end users should care about how quickly they can access Akamai's network.

      Disclaimer, I don't work for akamai but have worked with them on some of the larger
  • UK mobile Internet may be faster, but ours is more expensive.
    • mate you have no idea what expensive mobile internet is. I am from Australia, I love when I visit the US as what you consider expensive mobile internet is dirt cheap to us.
    • If you think that you have not compared services. Coming from Europe I am paying under $10 more in the USA for 100Mbps and cable with some premium channels to what I was paying for 2Mbps. Cheap fast Internet and cheap fuel are great over here.
  • GCHQ (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    UK has good mobile internet speeds because the GCHQ insists upon it. The better to spy on you, my pretties!

  • *Europe* is a very densely-populated area while *America* has great swaths of sparsely-populated regions, some as big as entire European nations. What if we compare, say, New England to (Old) England? Is the disparity still as great? I think not...
    • by dave420 ( 699308 )

      Yes, the disparity is still there. "Waaah we're massive so everything we do wrong can be blamed on us being massive!!!111eleventyone"

  • I really loath seeing the Us so behind in so many things. Why the heck do we not wake up and see that the US has better technology widely distributed throughout our population than any other nation? And to make it worse we have people chanting that the US is number one, endlessly and stupidly. If people would get into reality and realize that we are having a huge problem then we could work towards a better solution.
  • ... from what I saw there, it's quite common to have a 3/4G connection as a main home connection. I live in France, and here, we all have optic fiber ,vdsl or adsl at worst, but I never visited any home where the main internet access is a 3/4G connection. That may explain a lot about the quality of the service.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'd say that's not quite true. I'm British and have lived around the country and I'd say everywhere I've lived in the last 10 years has had a fibre or adsl connection. Even outlying places usually have dial up. I don't know anyone who has 3/4G as their main service apart from extreme rural areas in Scotland, Wales or Cornwall where there just isn't cable in the road, or even a road.
      It's reasonably common for people to only have their mobile as their only phone as opposed to a land line though. Even though t

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      I don't even know anyone who has 3g/4g as their home Internet connection and I live in the UK.

      At home I have two Internet connections. 100MBps VDSL2 connection provided by BT and a 200MBps FTTH cable connection from Virgin Media.

  • Is this a geographic average (were they testing areas in the middle of nowhere) or a population average? That'll probably make quite a bit of difference.

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