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Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden are ready for Web 2.0 and beyond

A recently released survey indicates Japan has the best quality broadband Internet services, with Sweden and the Netherlands completing the top three.  Researchers used download/upload speeds, and internet latency when compiling numbers from eight million tests completed in May 2008.

Sweden and the Netherlands were able to be the top European broadband nations because of their efforts in "increasing investments in fiber and cable network upgrades, coupled with competition diversity, and supported by strong government vision and policy."

Even though it's difficult to define quality internet, regardless of how questions were reworded, Oxford University Said Business School researchers found Japan remained on top of 41 other nations in the "Broadband Quality Score."  Latvia, Korea, Switzerland, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany and Slovenia are the nations that round out the top ten quality broadband nations, according to researchers.

Oxford University received assistance with the survey from Oviedo University and Cisco Systems.  The participating partners used collected broadband speed tests when users measured their broadband connections on

Upload speed has become increasingly important as many users want to send out data. Japan is the nation best suited for an increase in uploads, while other nations in the top ten continue to try and catch up.  Furthermore, there wasn't a correlation found between consumer internet prices and national performance, or how widespread broadband use is in a nation, a researcher from Cisco said.

Surprisingly, the United Kingdom joined Italy and Spain as European nations with underwhelming broadband for use in the Web 2.0 world.  Average download speeds obviously is good for browsing the internet, checking e-mail and watching videos on YouTube, but interactive applications and other new services require better Internet connections.  

The United States is ranked 16th overall.

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Broadband quality?
By kontorotsui on 9/15/2008 7:35:37 AM , Rating: 5
I'm Italian but I've been in Sweden for 3 months to work on my master thesis.
What is Broadband quality?
You enter your student apartment, you plug the network cable in the socket, you enter any address, you get a web page where you pick one of the three available companies, you click ok and you have immediately, repeat IMMEDIATELY, a 10Mbit, 20MBit or 100Mbit broandband working perfectly.
Payment? 1 month later.
Cost? 15 EURO (21 USD) for 10Mbit, fast response, constant and reliable 1.2Mb/sec in upload and download. P2P and gamers heaven.

RE: Broadband quality?
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 7:42:25 AM , Rating: 2
That is of course a university network, which would be way better than a typical residential network in all regards, unless the university traffic shape the students.
How's a residential package like?

RE: Broadband quality?
By kontorotsui on 9/15/2008 7:45:31 AM , Rating: 2
Let me point out, I was not in a college. But in a student apartment, which is supposed (I'm not 100% sure, but quite positive) to have the same broadband offer any resident should get.
I hope some Sweden can come here and confirm.

RE: Broadband quality?
By Don Tonino on 9/15/2008 8:08:35 AM , Rating: 2
I've spent some eleven months in Stockholm (well a suburb of it really, but it doesn't really matter) and the flat I was assigned from the faculty was housed in a big residential condominium, which catered mostly to singles and retired people. As it was some 4 years ago, prices and activation procedure were just a bit more expensive and complex than the one given by kontorotsui, still I had a fully syncronous 10 MB connection up and working in less than five minutes. The only main difference was that I wasn't offered a choice between companies as the building was wired with just one provider (I don't remember which one now,still it worked perfectly fine all the same) that carried quite a hefty price for the 100 MB connection, but that wasn't an issue as I didn't plan to house a server anyway ;)

RE: Broadband quality?
By erikejw on 9/15/2008 12:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
For me the residential package is.
10/10 18 Euro
100/100 30 Euro

This seems to be the norm in the major cities.
There are even areas that can get 1 Gbit.

RE: Broadband quality?
By heffeque on 9/15/2008 12:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
In Spain the cable company is using Docsis 3.0 to start to give Internet 50/3 Mbps + free phone calls to landline phones for 60 euros or 100/5 Mbps for 80 euros. The company giving FTTH has worse prices so for now the cable company is a better option. There's a region in Spain that offers 100/20 Mbps for 29 euros or 100/100 Mbps por 49 euros, but it's only a region in Asturias so it's not the normal offer in Spain. The rest of the operators that work nationally offer 20/1 Mbps + free national phone calls for 41 euros a month.

I guess that Spain still has to advance a lot to get to the level other countries have, but at least it seems that it's not as bad as the USA.

RE: Broadband quality?
By heffeque on 9/15/2008 1:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think I made that pretty confusing. Nationwide:

20/1 = 34.95 to 41.95 depending on operator
50/3 = 60 with Ono
100/5 = 80 with Ono

Line and free phone calls to all Spain included.

As for mobile internet, Simyo offers 3.5G (HSDPA) at 3.6 Mbps speeds for 24.99 euros but it has a 5 GB/month limit. If you go over it, speed is reduced to 128 Kbps. Also 3.5G speeds are only possible in cities (big and small cities) but not in the open country.

RE: Broadband quality?
By Oregonian2 on 9/15/2008 7:09:08 PM , Rating: 2
Here in the U.S. I've FiOS from Verizon (FTTH).

Cost for internet-only service (20/5) is 37 Euros/month.

I use my cell phone for national telephone service.

RE: Broadband quality?
By Nyu on 9/16/2008 5:20:23 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the best you can get in MOST areas of Spain is 3mbit/320 kbit for 46 euro + 20 line a month. The best ping you get from home to the nearest gateway is at least 100 ms.

RE: Broadband quality?
By bben on 9/15/2008 8:14:39 AM , Rating: 2
I might have above average quality where I live, but in a quite normal appartment in the south of sweden, I have 100Mbit, symmetrical, for €35/month. I can get 1Gbit for the somewhat hefty price of €90/month, but hey, I CAN get it.
And it's fiber all the way to my flat and Gbit Ethernet inside.

RE: Broadband quality?
By albertdup on 9/15/2008 8:50:48 AM , Rating: 2
Lucky you

Here in South Africa I pay €60/ $80 a month for a 384kbps connection and only 3GB bandwidth upload and download combined. Average latency is 450 ms. A 1 Mbit uncapped account cost €270 / $385. I believe it is clear why they call it the digital divide.

RE: Broadband quality?
By V3ctorPT on 9/15/2008 8:53:30 AM , Rating: 2
I live in Portugal... and although I'm in an isolated area, i pay 38.65€/month for a 8Mbit access... wich i only can have 1Mb... So... U are all lucky :D

*8 Mbit, gives me unlimited internacional+national downloads, wich comes handy, as my little sister loves youtube and ruins my traffic...

RE: Broadband quality?
By spuddyt on 9/15/2008 10:25:34 AM , Rating: 2
Try the channel islands: here, 2 mbit broadband costs £24.99 a month - and that my friends is known as a monopoly (well, tbh there are 2 companies, but I suspect price fixing since they both charge the same)

RE: Broadband quality?
By Zandros on 9/15/2008 8:20:58 AM , Rating: 2
In all likelihood, the student accommodations' broadband won't be provided by the University, but by the same commercial ISPs that offer services in the city fiber network. Apart from the ease of setting up the network (which may or may not be the same, I'm not sure) and the prices (40-20% cheaper for students), service is essentially the same.

There are a few universities who run their own networks though.

RE: Broadband quality?
By MrBowmore on 9/15/2008 6:33:55 PM , Rating: 1
OK for those who don´t have the privilege to live in a resident offered by ex. KTH or SU witch is one of the bigger "colleges" here in Stockholm- Sweden, youre fucked basically.

There is a company called "COM HEM" directly translated "com home" that stands for 80% of the households here. They also have tv through cable much like the beloved com cast...
They have a monopoly here (cable 1-28Mbit down, often 1Mbit up, if youre lucky 8 Mbit upstream, if YOURE LUCKY) and im really bitter cause it is them or adsl, wich offer the same speeds.

Im just drunk (Bowmore) ´n bitter since I moved away from a resident provided by mah school (KTH). You really have to look for serious fiber to get one as well in Sweden, it isnt easy to find a good 10Mbit connection i Stockholm sweden. Im scared that we even reached this far on the list, I feel sad for the rest of you, seriously.
///Drunk n bitter.

RE: Broadband quality?
By Kemi on 9/15/2008 1:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
I live in the suburbs of Stockholm and I have 100Mbit for about 15€. That includes 3 static IP and no port blocking or any restrictions on what I can do with the connection. I had 10mbit ethernet back in 1999 for 20€.

My mother got the same but she doesn't pay anything. It's included in the rent and they even lowered the it at the same time they installed the fiber :)

Cable is now at 50/10mbit for 40€.
VDSL2 40/10mbit for 35€ - It's being deployed right now so I don't know if it's covering everyone but it should by the years end. If not you can get ADSL2+ 24/1 everywhere for the same amount.

RE: Broadband quality?
By killerroach on 9/15/2008 8:19:04 AM , Rating: 3
Looking at the methodology, one of the metrics used is the amount of fiber networking deployed... simply put, short of a "moon shot" initiative in the United States, the US will always lag in that category, along with Russia. Needless to say, it's a lot easier to extensively lay cable in a small, highly dense nation like the Netherlands or the main Japanese island (Honshu) than it is in an area that has wide, expansive swaths of sparse population.

In a few years, the "digital divide" in America is less likely to be between rich and poor, but rather between urban and rural. Simply put, even a man of means in Montana will be unlikely to be able to have the same quality of broadband internet as a lower-middle-class person in New Jersey or Connecticut will have, simply due to the dynamics associated with laying fiber, short of massive advancements in technologies like WiMax completely surprising all of us.

RE: Broadband quality?
By Zandros on 9/15/2008 8:34:04 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, but the population density of Sweden is far less than the population density of the USA, even if we remove the large sparsely populated areas from Sweden and keep them in the USA. (26 vs. 31 people per square kilometre, discounting Lapland, 20 vs. 31 with the entirety of Sweden.)

RE: Broadband quality?
By omnicronx on 9/15/2008 8:58:22 AM , Rating: 2
About 2/3 of Sweden is a sheet of ice, so that is not really a fair comparison. The populated areas in Sweden are mainly in the south, and as the OP said, the population density is much higher when you take out the land that nobody lies on, thus no internet would be needed.

Otherwise I can merely say, well Canada only has 3 people per km, but obviously that is skewed for the same reason as 95%+ of the population lives in the southern regions. Just for clarification, 80% of the population of Sweden lives in the southern two fifths of the country. Taking that into account, swedan's pop density in the southern regions is about 45 people per km, which is much higher than the US.

RE: Broadband quality?
By tommypeters on 9/15/2008 10:19:36 AM , Rating: 3
I suppose (hope) that was somewhat of a tongue-in-cheek remark, and you are not really that ignorant. No polar bears on the streets, sorry. There are roads, as well as Internet, in Umeå and other cities near the Polar Circle. You still need to get Internet to those places even if not so many people live in between. And being a long a narrow country doesn't help for cable deployment.

If you would do the same for USA; remove the least-populated three-fifths, what density (and I don't mean inside nrains) does USA get then?

RE: Broadband quality?
By tommypeters on 9/15/2008 10:38:00 AM , Rating: 3
(no editing possibilities...)

The region of Sweden with the worst possibility for broadband (ie that you can just order and get broadband and not have to wait for a future development) is actually Västra Götaland in the Southwestern part of Sweden. There "only" just over 95% have the possibility to get broadband. In the igloos in the Northern regions about 97% can. Never heard of the Reindeer IRC?... :-)

RE: Broadband quality?
By Oregonian2 on 9/15/2008 7:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
And being a long a narrow country doesn't help for cable deployment.

Actually it makes it a lot easier. You just need to run a single backbone down that stretch to provide infrastructure for the country. In a more square'ish one it takes a switched matrix of backbone links (and in our case, links to Hawaii and Alaska, the latter of which is pretty large with a lot of ice as well).

RE: Broadband quality?
By Oregonian2 on 9/15/2008 8:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
P.S. - Although Sweden is long, it's not really "narrow". :-)

RE: Broadband quality?
By modus2 on 9/15/2008 10:28:35 AM , Rating: 2
Well glaciers cover a few percent of the area, so 2/3s is off base. However some 70% of the land is forested, which is not concentrated to the north. Generally speaking the population can be said to live at the coast, which is some 2000km long, so you judge if thats highly populated.

RE: Broadband quality?
By tommypeters on 9/15/2008 10:49:51 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is that it's political, people have a "right" to broadband at decent prices. And the less densly populated area, the more need for broadband (if you have 300km to the nearest cinema on-demand movies doesn't seem so bad).

Since almost everyone has a phone, and the Swedish phone network can give decent ADSL speeds due to pretty high quality, it's easy to have broadband also in remote locations. Add som fibre into that...

For instance, the small place Nordmaling (8,000 pop.) is pictured in this link:
The red means fibre, 21 small villages in this small region - in the Northern tundra, between Örnsköldsvik and Umeå, has fibre and the rest have to do with ADSL of maybe 2-8MBit (there's of course also slower, if you want cheaper).

RE: Broadband quality?
By Zandros on 9/15/2008 11:03:50 AM , Rating: 2
Uh? I specifically mentioned that the population density is lower even when you remove the huge areas where next to no-one lives.

RE: Broadband quality?
By erikejw on 9/15/2008 8:30:06 PM , Rating: 2
Average temp i Sweden is about as the same in New York.

My sister will go there in 2 weeks.
I will ask her to bring some camera shots of the polar bears on 5 Avenue ;)

Only an american can be as ignorant as another american ;)

RE: Broadband quality?
By Oregonian2 on 9/15/2008 9:02:14 PM , Rating: 2
Even Kiruna which is pretty northern is surrounded by trees north of it when looking on a map.

Closest I've been to Sweden is Lubeck, Germany (not that far with some water in between). In the Summer when I was there, it was magnificently beautiful. Were visiting friends in Hamburg.

RE: Broadband quality?
By pwnsweet on 9/15/2008 8:53:04 AM , Rating: 4
I live in Australia, and it's US$43 per month for 1.5Mbit down, 256K up, 10GB download quota per month...and this is considered an "average" cost with an "average" ISP. After reading your post, I wish I was dead.

RE: Broadband quality?
By ali 09 on 9/15/2008 5:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
I also live in Australia (Brisvegas) - US $80 for 20Mbps down, 1mbit up (cable), 20GB per month, unlimited phone to landline and mobile in Australia. OPTUS FTW!!

RE: Broadband quality?
By Felofasofa on 9/16/2008 10:57:09 AM , Rating: 2
I live about 2 hours south of Brisbane, and can only get 128k ISDN, absolute Internet dark ages. I'm about 8km from a node, but because they put in such crap copper I can't get DSL. Optus and Telstra couldn't give a fig about us here because we're revenue insignificant. It's a fu*kin disgrace. I can't even imagine what 100mbit would be like. Rural and Urban divide is so spot on.

RE: Broadband quality?
By porkpie on 9/15/2008 11:16:17 AM , Rating: 2
P2P and gamers heaven.
Just what all students need for a quality education, huh?

By Fronzbot on 9/15/2008 7:34:14 AM , Rating: 1
I think that's something desperately needed in the US: Diversity. Where I live, I have only one choice for internet (Time Warner) and they're horrible. What do we have in America? TW, Comcast and Verizon are the only ones I can think of barring Hughesnet.

Stupid corporate conglomerates and their undying love for the almighty dollar. . .

RE: Diversity
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 7:40:43 AM , Rating: 2
In UK there are over 30 ISPs but we don't see much competition for improvement. There are more competition for value sacrificing quality than competition for quality.

Part of the cause is broadband infrastructures are solely maintained and operated by British Telecom, where ISP lease them as wholesaler.

I am thinking to moving on ADSL2. Even then the speed are abysmal compared to some countries. You have to be less than 2km away from an exchange station to have 15Mb/s+ speed. Just now the government highlighted that 2 billion GBP is needed to upgrade broadband in the UK to fibreoptics. To be honest I do think if they build in some future proofing, benefits far outweighs the cost; just when the HDTV era is coming.

RE: Diversity
By Bender 123 on 9/15/2008 7:54:24 AM , Rating: 2
You could always move somewhere with Charter...
Don't complain about your service until you have tasted the true king of crap...

Ive had TW and Verizon and they both worked like champs, relatively speaking, to Charter.

RE: Diversity
By Polynikes on 9/15/2008 10:56:15 AM , Rating: 2
I had Comcast and their "traffic shaping," and my Time Warner connection I have now is MUCH better.

RE: Diversity
By Noya on 9/15/2008 8:22:02 AM , Rating: 2
I live in the NW USA, and we basically have Comcrap or DSL, what choices. Kind of like our voting system...the lesser of two evils.

RE: Diversity
By Oregonian2 on 9/15/2008 7:31:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'm on the NW USA as well, and I've Comcast and Verizon FiOS choices. I used to have DSL as well, but the copper gets de-commissioned from ever being Verizon DSL again. However there are third-party DSL's (I had one) as well that use Verizon's DSL link under contract -- meaning the third party such as Aracnet is the ISP even if using Verizon's "last mile" wire. Depends where one is. One can usually get some flavor of DSL, cable-company service, and perhaps Verizon FiOS (what I use now). Depends primarily upon the company providing the old POTS service.

RE: Diversity
By Oregonian2 on 9/17/2008 1:22:29 AM , Rating: 2
Stupid corporate conglomerates and their undying love for the almighty dollar. . .

If you prefer service from companies that don't get all those dollars, move to a Qwest area. From what I read, I suspect you'd then appreciate those who go for the dollars more. Those who don't go for the dollars don't have any -- and dollars (in this country) are needed to build that which provides good service. No money, nothing to provide service with. It's that huge amount of gross profit that is used to build infrastructure, the government doesn't pay for it -- needs to be paid for by company profits.

I've got Verizon and I'm delighted with FiOS. It'll be several years from now when Verizon breaks even from me, until then my service is being financed by Verizon spending their previous dollar profits on me.

By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 7:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
Where is
By dickeywang on 9/15/2008 8:39:36 AM , Rating: 1
the full list of this report?

I don't trust the Swedes....
By foolsgambit11 on 9/15/2008 12:56:06 PM , Rating: 1
"Ask the typical American what he or she knows about Sweden and you'll probably be met with a confused, empty sort of look, a shrug of the shoulders, and a stammering response about Swedish meatballs; ask the typical music fan and you'll probably hear something about ABBA and Ace of Base; ask me and I'll start telling you bout the Swedish chef on The Muppet Show, who never seemed to get around to making the meatballs but sang better than all the members of ABBA and Ace of Base put together.

"While our inability to attach any definitive imagery to our conceptions of Sweden may have something to do with garden-variety American cultural know-nothingism, it probably owes just as much to the Swedes' oft-overlooked skill at cleverly obscuring their true nature. Everything about the Scandanavian country, from its understatedly simple flag design to its studious neutrality in both World Wars, has been carefully crafted to lull us into accepting the Swedes as a nation of cheery blue-eyed blondes with nothing better to do than sip aquavit and eat smorgasbord. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"The fact of the matter is that Swedes are brilliantly cunning and ruthlessly ambitious. Not all of them are as obfuscatorily fiendish as IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, who grudgingly admitted in November of 1994 that he had "naively" belonged to a Nazi organization between 1945 and 1948 (and whose stores, to my knowledge, have never played ABBA or Ace of Base over their sound systems, although they do serve Swedish meatballs), but as a rule it is wise to treat Swedish claims and statements with a certain healthy skepticism. Official statistics on alcohol consumption, for example, rank Sweden among the lightest-drinking countries in the world, but this is characteristically deceptive -- high alcohol taxes make drinking in Sweden prohibitively expensive, so most Swedes simply hop over the border to either Finland or Norway and get soused to their hearts' considerable content. Similarly, the 1986 assssination of outwardly docile Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme was originally seen as an act of senseless terrorism but is now widely acknowledged to have been an ingenious and necessary sacrifice, carried out with Palme's full cooperation and approval, in order to draw attention to the high quality of Sweden's long-underrated firearms industry. Even the Swedish chef himself, long a staple on The Muppet Show, was not fully what he seemed: close inspection reveals that he was the only Muppet to have human hands rather than Muppet hands, an anomaly whose secret apparently went to the grave with honorary Swede Jim Henson in 1990.

"Such inscrutability, coupled with a national history dotted with character-building ordeals like the Stockholm Bloodbath of 1520, the Thirty Years War of 1618-48, and the Linköping Cannibalism Outbreak of 1926, adds up to a juggernaut in the making. Americans would be wise to protect their collective flank and pay heed to the warning recently issued by the Swedish rock band Whale, whose 1994 'Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe' single contained the following backwards-masked message: 'We will bury you...bury you.'"

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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