Asian countries have taken the top spots in a Cisco-backed broadband table that combines measures of quality of service and take-up.
South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan occupy the first three positions and Singapore equal fifth in the study, which tested data speeds and latency in 72 countries.
Korea, which topped the rankings last year, grew average download throughput 55% year-on-year to 33.5Mbps in 2010, with an average upload speed of 17Mbps up 430%. It has 100% broadband penetration.
Oxford University’s Said Business School, which carried out the survey, said increased network investment had boosted broadband quality 50% since the first study in 2008, while penetration had grown from 40% of households to 49%.
The tests on 40 million broadband connections found that average global download speed had lifted from 3.8 Mbps in 2008 to 5.9 Mbps this year, while upload speed has risen from 794kbps to 1.8 Mbps.
It said 14 countries were ready for next-gen internet applications such as high-def TV and high quality video communications: South Korea, Japan, Latvia, Sweden, Bulgaria, Finland, Romania, Lithuania, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Germany, Portugal, Denmark and Iceland.