Singapore has been crowned the country with the fastest broadband speeds for the second year in a row, as global average speeds worldwide increased 23 percent from last year.
Research compiled by British broadband comparison firm Cable and collected by M-Lab, a partnership between Google Open Source Research and PlantLab of Princeton University, showed Singapore leading the way ahead of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
Singapore’s average internet speed is just over 60 megabytes per second, way ahead of Sweden’s 46mbps. Singapore boasts a thriving digital economy and culture, and the size of the country gives it a distinct advantage when developing infrastructure like broadband, because it’s small enough to cover in fiber without huge costs.
All of the top four nations—Singapore and the three Scandinavian countries—share a technology in common. Each of them has invested in pure fiber technology, also referred to as FTTP, to bring superfast internet speeds to their citizens. In Sweden, around 60 percent of homes and businesses have access to speeds of up to 1gbps. The same is true for more than half of Danish homes and 40 percent of citizens in Norway.
On the other end of the broadband speed table, Yemen has the slowest broadband speeds in the world, followed by East Timor, Turkmenistan, and Somalia. Yemen’s average internet speed is just 0.3mbps, displaying the gap between the fastest speeds and the countries without the internet infrastructure to compete. Unfortunately, this gap is growing. The top 25 countries on the list are responsible for 45.30 percent of the total growth in broadband speeds, while the bottom 25 countries are responsible for just 0.19 percent of the growth.
“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,” says Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable. “Those countries leading the world should be congratulated, but we should also be conscious of those that are being left further and further behind,” he added.
Overall, 136 countries fail to meet speeds of 10mbps, which is the minimum the UK telecoms regulator Ofcom deems to be necessary to cope with the needs of a family home or a business.