Broadband really does crawl in the UK

Thanks to Jack Davidson my colleague at Learning and Teaching Scotland for pointing out the following article which refers to the performance of Broadband Services compared to the rest of Europe.

To read the article click here.

The report to which the article refers is to be found here

The article does state that the average speed of Broadband in Finland is 21.7Mb/s whilst in the United Kingdom the average speed is 2.6Mbps. Also the report states that the average Subscribers per Household in the two are countries are .57 and .50 respectively so it would seem that in penetration terms the two countries are similar. Leaving Europe aside, Korea and Japan actually top the table on 45.6Mbps and 61Mbps with penetration figures of .9 and .52 SpH respectively.

The report by Robert D. Atkinson is actually concerned with “The Case for a National Broadband Policy” in an American context. But it does seems to raise some interesting issues in relation to the real drivers for further investment advanced broadband technologies. At the core of these policies should “focus on stimulating both the supply and the demand for high-speed broadband”. Robert then sets out a number of supply and demand side policies which are both needed to ensure that broadband provision can develop.

I attended a BT technology briefing event recently when I heard about BT’s plans for its 21st Century Network which features the deliver of a wide range of services over the Internet Protocol including voice and video. The interesting thing is that alongside this objective there was no indication of any plan to upgrade the basic network infrastructure over which this will be deliver. Seems to me that before the UK can move up the broadband ladder it needs to get some new policies in place which will stimulate both the Industry and Consumer to exploit the possibilities.

All of this of course is sat against the reality that I still regularly measure broadband download speeds of between 150 and 300 kbps when staying at my daughters house in Bishopbrigs in Glasgow. This is very frustrating performance and seems to be very consistent and is also made more so because of the fact that at 7am each day I can easily and consistently clock 6.5Mbps – clearly this is the effects of network contention.