Nigeria, India, Egypt, and Kenya have the chance to make a generational change in the quality of its broadband (high speed internet connectivity) by installing completely new systems that will bring them up to modern standards.This is part of findings of a wide-ranging survey carried out by Oxford University’s Said Business School Tand the University of Oviedo’s Department of Applied Economics, and sponsored by the networking company Cisco.
The study puts the quality of the high-speed connections of Korea and Japan as World leaders followed bycountries such as Lithuania, Romania, and Latvia, which it says are all “ready for tomorrow” in the quality of their high-speed connectivity.
The measure looks at the “Broadband Quality Score”, a combination of download speed, upload speed and “latency” – the latter being a measure of how long it takes a packet of internet data to travel from its source to its destination. (Physically carrying a DVD, which holds 4.7 gigabytes, across a room in a second would be a high “download” speed – but the time taken compared to the near-light speed of an electron means the latency is enormous.)
The study splits the results of its tests, from taking 24m readings of broadband connection speeds between May and July in different countries, into five gradations: “ready for tomorrow” (with super-fast connections and low latency); “comfortably enjoying today’s applications”; “meeting needs of today’s applications”; “below today’s applications threshold”; and “leapfrog opportunity”.
The growth of streaming sites offering video, alternative reality sites such as Second Life, and sites such as Google Maps which can demand large downloads of code has put increasing demands on download speeds
. At the same time the growth in social networking sharing of files such as photos and videos has put added emphasis on upload speeds – how fast one can get data from one’s home computer onto a site. And latency is key when using applications such as video streaming like the BBC iPlayer, video calls or voice over internet telephony (VoIP), where dropped or delayed connections can destroy interaction.
The UK is among those with the widest penetration of broadband, with around 70% of
The study found that the average global download speed globally was 4.75Mbps (megabits per second), while average upload speed was 1.3Mbps.
It is estimated that countries will need an average download speed of 11.25Mbps and an upload speed of 5Mbps in order to handle future applications such as high definition video.
The study also found that Sweden has the highest quality broadband in Europe, and is rapidly catching up with Japan and South Korea – the world leaders – as its BQS improves 38% from 2008.
weden is the most successful country in closing the broadband quality gap with residents outside the most populated cities enjoying better quality than those in the cities. However London does not figure in the top 20 cities with the “best” broadband.
Professor María Rosalía Vicente, University of Oviedo, said: “The Broadband Quality Study shows us which countries have made real moves towards the internet of the future. It also provides fresh evidence of the urban versus rural quality divide. The challenge for countries now is to bridge this quality divide.”