THE UK has slipped further down the Worldwide Broadband Speed League table, falling four places to number 35.
With average speeds of 18.57Mbps, the UK is behind 25 other European countries and among the bottom third in the European Union.
In particular, broadband speeds in the UK now trail Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovenia - among others - in Europe, and has even been leapfrogged by Madagascar.
The annual broadband league table from communications analyst group Cable tests internet speeds across 200 countries, taking an average of fastest and slowest.
The city-state of Singapore, once again, comes out on top, with an average broadband speed of 60.39Mbps, while war-ravaged Yemen brings up the rear with an average of just 0.31Mbps.
The tests, though, indicate that while speeds are being improved almost across the board around the world, they are growing fastest in the wealthiest economies.
"With average broadband speeds rising by 23 per cent in just one year it would be easy to assume an overall positive global picture," said Cable consumer telecoms analyst Dan Howdle.
"However, a closer look reveals the acceleration is concentrated towards the top end: the faster countries are improving more quickly, with those towards the bottom end of the table verging on stagnation."
In particular, Europe, the US, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong are enjoying the biggest broadband speed boosts, he added, while relatively the UK is falling further behind.
The UK's communications infrastructure is dominated by BT via its wholly owned infrastructure arm, Openreach. It has been accused of not rolling out fibre broadband nearly aggressively enough.
The failure of BT-owned Openreach to keep pace is reflected by its inability to roll out even fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband to large parts of London, let alone the rest of the country.
The organisation is now committed to rolling out fibre-to-the-premises, but the company's plans mean that it will take a decade or more before the task is completed.
It is currently pledged to bring fibre to three million homes by 2020 and earlier this year promised to hire 3,000 engineers to help deliver that promise. µ
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