The latest country comparisons in that key economic driver: broadband speed

By is my go-to resource for Internet speed testing, whether it’s checking whether there are service problems, or making sure that event venues where we have video over IP links to speakers around the world have sufficient bandwidth.

One of the great additions to the service is a compilation of all their data to show bandwidth speeds around the world. While it is not necessarily fully accurate data, it is definitely current. The most thoroughly researched source for broadband comparisons is the OECD, but unfortunately the latest data from them is a couple of years old now, during which there have been significant changes in the landscape.

South Korea is the winner, with an average speed of 22.47Mbps, but it is closely followed by Japan, and countries in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia (including the #2 on the list, Aland Islands, part of Finland).

USA is #30 and Australia #43, well down in the rankings, though both are very large and economically distributed. Countries like China and Malaysia do respectably, in the 2-3Mbps range, though the problem is China in particularly still has substantial dial-up access.

As pretty much all governments have recognized, there is no question that broadband access will be a key economic driver. It will be interesting to map quite how much.

Full list of broadband speeds in 181 countries below the fold.



  • cyberdoyle

    interesting stats. Not very comforting to know we are only 40th in the world in the UK but better than being last… Interesting also to note that many can’t take the speed test due to such bad connections. I find once the kids are home all the houses in the village can’t load the test at all. Many more round me are still on dial up and it won’t work on those either. But it will be the same in a lot of countries so the stats will be equally flawed. Great blog.

  • Brett Glass

    And where is it written that broadband speed is a “key economic driver?”
    The answer: Nowhere.
    The fact is that no one has demonstrated any advantage to having speeds faster than those fast enough to stream video — the most common bandwidth-intensive legal application.
    In short, the premise of the article — as stated in the headline — is not only unproven but highly questionable.
    What’s more, the results returned by vary wildly not only from those of other tests but also on the same computer at different times. Not a reliable source.

  • Yes the data is not that reliable, but it gives a pretty fair indication of the country rankings in broadband speed. In fact I’m not aware of better data.
    There are in fact dozens of studies showing how bandwidth impacts economic growth. I’ve pointed to a couple here:

  • Brett Glass

    Your graph proves my point. It is penetration, not speed, that matters.

  • 🙂 you’re right Brett – penetration is more important than speed. But speed is also significant – I will see what other research has been done on this.