A report published by Broadband firm Epitero confirmed the existence of a 'digital divide' amongst European cities.
The data, derived from testing broadband services from leading ISPs in Amsterdam, Dublin, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich, is part of a major customer experience research project by Epitiro to understand the actual broadband service levels delivered to EU consumers and businesses.
The research considered technical parameters that affect popular uses such as web surfing, VoIP, internet gaming and streaming video. Performance measurements were conducted by devices that operate as typical home computers by connecting to the internet and executing a series of test routines.
The dedicated testing apparatus avoids the possibility of erroneous measurements with common 'speed test' web sites where unknown network paths and personal computer configurations often skew results.
"Regulators, consumer advocate groups and ISPs need to know the true broadband service levels delivered to customers," said Gavin Johns, CEO, Epitiro. "The infrastructure investment we've made into Europe to provide accurate broadband performance data has now made this possible."
The data revealed inconsistency amongst multinational ISPs service levels with Orange (41% difference), Alice (44%) and Tele2(31%) brands varying significantly in service quality from city to city.
"With technically advanced cities such as Stockholm, Helsinki and Berlin not included in this report the actual digital divide in Europe may be more severe," continued Johns. "Though we're pleased to be sharing our data to date, we're keen to complete the full research necessary to publish the 'EU Member State Internet Performance Index' in early 2009."