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Akamai finds average UK broadband speed falls in Q4
UK broadband speeds slowed to an average of 4.9Mbps in the final three months of last year, Akamai has found.The UK's average broadband speed dropped to 4.9Mbps in the final quarter of 2011, according to the latest State of the Internet report from Akamai.
In the third quarter of last year, the country's typical download rate stood at 5.1Mbps, meaning broadband customers saw their speeds fall by an average of 0.2Mbps, while global capabilities slumped from 2.7Mbps to 2.3Mbps over the same period.
Akamai, a content delivery network, said it was unable to explain the fall in speeds, but noted that several factors - including peak usage levels - may have had an impact.
Despite the international slump, the top two countries for broadband speeds - South Korea and Japan - both saw their average download rates increase.
The first three locations in the league table were all in the Asia Pacific region, with the Netherlands named as the best performing European nation, coming in fourth place overall with an average speed of 8.2Mbps.
Latvia, Switzerland, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Belgium rounded out the top ten.
Within Europe, the UK ranked 16th for average measured connection speed and 14th for typical peak connection rates.
The study revealed that 91 per cent of British broadband lines delivered average speeds of more than 2Mbps, but less than one-third were faster than 4.9Mbps.
Although Akamai claimed the UK's broadband speeds have declined, figures published in February by Ofcom showed that capabilities increased from 6.8Mbps in May 2011 to 7.6Mbps the following November.
Commenting on the likely reasons for this rise, the regulator explained that consumers are increasingly moving to faster packages, with 58 per cent of residential broadband connections offering headline or advertised speeds of more than 10Mbps.
"It is encouraging that speeds are increasing and that consumers have a real choice of broadband service," said Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards.
"There is a real opportunity for consumers to look at the packages and deals in their area in order to receive the best value, speeds and performance available to them."