The UK has slipped down the global broadband speed rankings and now sits at 47th place, according to a new report from Cable.co.uk.
Blighty's broadband speeds measured 37.82Mbps on average, far below the majority of its Western European neighbours.
Topping the table was the tiny tax haven principality of Liechtenstein, which boasted average speeds of 229.98Mbps. Also performing strongly were the tax-light crown territories of Jersey and Gibraltar, which ranked second and fourth respectively.
Funnily enough, there's a weird trend for nations popular with non-doms to have nippy internet. Who took third place? You guessed it, another microstate: Andorra. Meanwhile, Luxembourg and Monaco clinched fifth and ninth place respectively. Of course, one could also argue that it's fairly straightforward to deploy FTTP when your country is the size of a regulation five-a-side football pitch and congestion isn't a problem because all your residents are plonked on a yacht somewhere in the Med.
As you might expect, some of the worst-performing nations are also the poorest. Sub-Saharan Africa occupied a disproportionate share of the bottom half of the ranking table, with South Sudan clinching last place with average speeds of 0.58Mbps. Also languishing in the slowest 10 nations were Equatorial Guinea, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Sudan.
Nonetheless, the UK's relatively dismal ranking underlines the pressing need to overhaul its slow and uncompetitive broadband infrastructure. Both the government and private sector are pushing towards that, with Ofcom and Openreach gradually phasing out copper-based products, combined with FTTP from new upstarts like CommunityFibre.
Speaking to El Reg, telecoms analyst Paolo Pescatore argued that any nation-to-nation comparisons should be regarded with a healthy air of scepticism.
"Inevitably, providing a like-for-like comparison is challenging," he said. "Though these results help shape an objective, they should be taken with a pinch of salt. Speed always grabs the headlines. There are numerous technologies that providers can use to increase speed. However, just as important are robust, reliable connections and ensuring connecting the masses including the unconnected in rural areas.
"The UK is starting to regain its network leadership with 5G and now fibre rollout. However, no one should rest on their laurels and all key stakeholders need to work closely to achieve the government's target – and that includes the government as well. Ultimately achieving full fibre as soon as possible has to be the end goal but there are many hurdles. This is due to legislation, difficulties in gaining permits, and the disruption caused by digging up roads." ®