The results of the third annual study of the quality of broadband connections around the globe reveals continued improvements worldwide, with more countries already prepared for the applications of tomorrow than in previous years and two thirds of the countries analyzed meeting or surpassing today’s needs. Overall, thanks to a range of investments in infrastructure, global broadband quality has improved by 50% in just three years and penetration of broadband continues to improve, with about half of the households (49%) of the countries investigated now having access to broadband (up from 40% in 2008).
Quality was evaluated by scoring the combined download throughput, upload throughput, and latency capabilities of a connection, the key criteria for a connection’s ability to handle specific Internet applications, from consumer telepresence to online video and social networking. These criteria are expressed as a single ‘Broadband Quality Score’ for each country. By combining this Broadband Quality Score with broadband penetration figures for each country (i.e. the proportion of households who have access to broadband, obtained from Point Topic in 2010), the researchers were able to map out the world’s broadband leaders – those with the best combination of broadband quality and penetration (Note: For a full explanation of how the scores are calculated, see page 4 of the Broadband Quality Study 2010).
Building on last year’s study, the 2010 data also includes analysis of the broadband quality of 239 cities, providing further insight into the evolution of smart connected communities around the world.
The measurement of mobile broadband quality, was first introduced to the study last year, has also been expanded significantly to include 68 countries (94% of the overall sample). The research has also explored the patterns of broadband consumption per household and evaluating the impacts these will have on overall broadband quality requirements.
The study was conducted by a team of MBA students from the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and the University of Oviedo’s Department of Applied Economics, and sponsored by Cisco.