U.S. Worldwide Broadband Ranking

The latest worldwide broadband speed test comparison has been issued by cable.co.uk. This compares broadband speeds in 220 companies is a good way to track the advance of broadband speeds around the world while also seeing how the U.S. stacks up. The comparisons were compiled using 1.3 billion speed tests from M-Lab.

Worldwide broadband speeds continue to climb. The average worldwide broadband speed in 2023 was 93.6 Mbps, up from 72.1 Mbps in 2021 – and only 9.1 Mbps in 2018. That’s over a tenfold increase in worldwide average broadband speeds in five years. Only 34 countries had average speeds faster than the worldwide average, with the United Kingdom coming in 34th with a speed of 93.6 Mbps.

The fastest average broadband speed comes from Jersey, an island nation off the coast of France, with an average speed of 264.5 Mbps. The next fastest countries are Liechtenstein, Macau, Iceland, Gibraltar, Andorra, and Luxembourg. It’s not hard to notice that these are all small countries where it’s much easier to bring fast broadband to everybody.

At the bottom of the list are Afghanistan and Yemen, with an average broadband speed of 1.7 Mbps. There are 48 countries on the list in 2023 with average broadband speeds under 10 Mbps. This is down from 67 countries in 2022 and 94 countries in 2021.

The U.S. is twelfth on the list, with an average speed of 136.5 Mbps. We often forget how much broadband speeds have improved in the country. In 2018 the U.S. ranked 20th with an average broadband speed of 25.9 Mbps. In 2018, the fastest broadband was in Singapore at 60.4 Mbps. Singapore today is 23rd with an average broadband speed of 101.8 Mbps.

One of the most interesting items on the list is the average speed in China of 12.7 Mbps – 156th on the list. We’ve heard from vendors and politicians for years how we can’t afford to lose the broadband battle with China. However, this speed seems unrealistically low. The China speed raises an interesting point about the study. The statistics include speed tests from every broadband technology from each country. In this country, that means combining speed tests from fiber, cable companies, fixed wireless, and cellular hot spots. The U.S. average speed comes from over 373 million speed tests. In China the statistic comes from only 323,000 speed tests. It’s fairly obvious that the China statistic doesn’t represent a very big slice of all of the broadband market in China. That might be due to a simple reason, such as people in China don’t use the M-Lab speed test.

As might be expected, the speed tests show that the fastest major countries are in North America, Europe and Asia. Canada is immediately below the U.S. with an average speed of 136.1 Mbps.

The African country with the fastest average speed is Rwanda, ranked 99, with a speed of 39.9 Mbps. But ten of the bottom twenty slowest speeds on the list are from sub-Saharan Africa. The fastest country in South America is Uruguay, ranked 20th with an average speed of 111.5 Mbps.

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