InternetIs the infrastructure of the internet in the UK better than elsewhere on Earth, or is lagging behind a number of countries in this respect?

The United Kingdom is frequently criticized, both by its own people and by others from around the world, for how far behind the times it appears to be in various areas.

Prime Minister David Cameron himself said the UK were also-rans in terms of the money it makes from exporting goods, while everything else, from the panic that sets in whenever a thin layer of snow hits the ground to how the national football team performs, is often open to ridicule.

Access to the internet in the country is also a hotly debated topic. It is often looked at internally in the UK in terms of the never far from the argument “north/south divide.”

While we cannot look at how the north of the country and the south of the country performs, we can work with the national averages in terms of speed and look at how the UK compares.

UK Internet Performance

The plan in the UK is for 90% of the population to be able to access superfast broadband, defined at above 25mbps, by 2015. The European Union (EU) target is for 100% of people to have access to speeds in excess of 30mbps by 2020, with 50% of these in excess of 100mbps.

There is currently no plan on the table from the UK Government to outline how they will meet this target, and there have also been doubts raised as to whether it is achievable.

While the numbers from the EU and the UK look and sound promising, in line with the countries they would want to compare to – fully developed nations and strong economies – they are not actually performing all that well. How does the UK currently stack up?

Asian Power

It is probably no surprise that Asia are leading the way when it comes to internet speeds and infrastructure. In China, some cities have 100mbps coverage, while the target average for Chinese cities is 20mbps by 2015. China also has a target of a 4mbps average in countryside locations to hit in the same year.

In Australia, the rollout of the National Broadband Network is allowing the country to reach for ambitious targets. 12mbps coverage across the country has already been achieved, and Australia is looking to raise that to 100mbps by 2016.

South Korea is currently the country with the world’s fastest average internet speed, with almost 16mbps available across the whole nation.

North America

Perhaps surprisingly, the United States and Canada aren’t particularly powerful at present on the internet front. Current targets are to provide basic internet in both countries (minimum of 4 – 5mbps, although the average speeds in both are nearer to 7mbps already), although the medium-term US plan is the most ambitious in the world.

America aims to have 100mbps in 100million homes by the end of the decade, and wants countrywide hotspot coverage of at least 1gbps at the same time.

Rest of the World

Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East are generally behind Asia and North America, as well as the UK, but most countries do have broadband plans in place, with Argentina, Egypt, and Israel all pursuing ambitious plans that should deliver high speed internet to the majority of people in those countries by the end of the decade.

Where the UK Stands

While internet in the UK is relatively advanced, the country is at risk of being overtaken by countries that will need to take big strides to catch up with the global leaders. However, these countries are then more likely to push forward again, meaning it is crucial that work continues to be done to deliver high quality internet services across the whole of the UK.

Website owners concerned about their own business and the impact slow internet could have on themselves should look at services like those at to ensure they are doing all they can to deliver an exceptional online experience for their customers.

Article WritingAlison is a technology enthusiast who enjoys reading hosting blogs. She would love to start her own website looking at various aspects of technology, but is too busy with her job and looking after her three children.