ft.com | Broadband access comes under fire |Rob Minto |September 12 2008 09:34
The quality of broadband internet access in some European countries, including the UK, Italy and Spain, is inadequate for running current web applications, a study has shown.
In a worldwide survey by Oxford University and Cisco, the high-speed internet access of some developed economies of western Europe, as well as Canada and Australia, was outperformed by Russia and several emerging economies of eastern Europe.
Fernando Gil de Bernabé, director at Cisco, said the performance of some countries was surprising. “But we are looking at quality, not penetration. Some countries have leapfrogged others by laying fibre rather than trying to upgrade copper lines.” he added.
The only country to have broadband quality that was considered adequate for future internet applications, such as high-definition video and large file-sharing, was Japan.
The study also found a high correlation between broadband quality and a country’s ranking as a knowledge economy.The highest ranked countries in Europe were Sweden and the Netherlands, which were second and third respectively behind Japan. Korea, which has a the world’s highest broadband penetration rate of 94 per cent, was ranked fifth