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The UK has been placed in the bottom third of a chart showing the world’s most developed countries in terms of broadband costs and speeds. The report by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) shows Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland as the top three countries respectively.

The report ranks the UK in 19th paying on average $29 (£14.50) while in the number one spot Sweden are paying just $10.79 (£5.40) for their broadband. This report is in stark contrast to the reports given by the government in 2005 when they announced that they are aiming for the UK to top the list of broadband enabled countries. But as the OECD report shows, the UK is slipping down the list - even coming behind Slovakia where customers pay $31.50 (£15.75) for their broadband.

As well as being one of the most expensive countries for broadband the speeds achievable in the UK are miserable. The report based on 2006 prices shows that Britons pay £1.81 per megabit per second, whereas in Japan (the cheapest country listed) they pay 11p per megabit per second. The reason for this low cost is that in Japan broadband users can achieve speeds of up to 100 Mb/s due to better infrastructure. Similar speeds are also achievable in Korea, Finland and Sweden where they have invested heavily in fibre networks.

The best the UK can achieve over its coaxial copper wires is 26Mb/s at absolute best, (using ADSL2+ technology) but in reality the speed attained in the UK is at 2.6Mb/s on average.

The UK government will need to put some heavy investment into our infrastructure for us to ever compete with the broadband technologies of other countries.

Use our broadband speed test to check the speed of your connection and compare potentially faster packages.

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