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UK languishes 12th in world Internet speeds despite 41% leap

The UK's average Internet speed has shot up by 41 per cent in the last year to 7.9Mbps, whilst the number of people connected to broadband has risen by a quarter to 73 per cent of the country.

However, despite posting the best yearly improvement in Europe, the UK's broadband speed is only seventh in the continent, and twelfth in the world, according to network firm Akamai's latest quarterly State of the Internet report (opens in new tab), covering the first three months of 2013.

Switzerland, posting an average of 10.1Mbps, has the fastest average speed in Europe, closely followed by the Netherlands with 9.9Mbps. Western European countries the UK is ahead of include France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

France is placed just 38 in the world with a speed of 5.2Mbps, whilst Germany is 20, with 6.9Mbps, an improvement of 20 per cent from last year. In Ireland, although speeds are at 7.3Mbps, the figure represents a negative 1.5 per cent fall from last year.

South Korean's enjoy the fastest speeds in the world with with an average speed of 14.2Mbps. Globally, Internet speed is up 36 per cent on average according to the data.

The UK places ninth in Europe and fifteenth in the world for coverage with 73 per cent of the country connected to broadband. With 88 per cent of the country connected, Switzerland has the highest rate in the world. Italy is the lowest listed country in Europe with just 35 per cent of the country connected to broadband.

With what Akamia refers to as 'high broadband' - speeds of over 10Mbps - the UK has experienced a huge 208 per cent jump in coverage, with a fifth of the country now receiving such speeds.

As part of the report, Akamia has also tracked cyber-attack traffic by country. China remains the largest source of attack traffic in the world, although the country has experienced a 34 per cent drop. Indonesia has overtaken the United States to take second place, with 21 per cent of all attack traffic coming out of the country, whilst 8.3 per cent now originates in the US.

The only European country to feature on the cyber-attack list is Romania, which took a 2.0 per cent share in the first quarter of 2013.

Tomas is co-founder of Lucky Pilgrim, a team of journalists, photographers and art directors who connect brands to audiences through words, imagery and design. He was formerly editorial director at Chapel and managing editor at Courier magazine, and was a writer for ITProPortal as well as The Independent, EastLondonLines, The Sunday Times Magazine, and Croon.