Nigeria’s internet download speed is among the slowest in the world, ranking 176th out of 207 countries in a report by UK-based firm, Cable. This is a significant drop from its 95th position two years ago.

According to the report, it takes an average of over 7 hours to download a high definition (HD) movie of five gigabytes (5GB) in Nigeria. This reflects the country’s deplorable network speed in comparison to Taiwan – first in the ranking –  where it takes 8:02 minutes to download the same file. 

Other countries at the top of the list include Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, among others. While on the bottom side of the list are the likes of Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Niger, Turkmenistan, Mauritania, etc. Yemen has the slowest internet mobile download in the world, as it takes an average of 30 hours for internet users in Yemen to download an HD movie of 5GB. 

The report, however, pointed out that it is relatively easier for smaller countries to deliver a high-speed connection. For instance, Taiwan, whose economy relies heavily on digital infrastructure, occupies a relatively small space compared to many others.

Rising global average speed

This year, the average speed measured in the period from May 9, 2018, to May 8, 2019, was 11.03 megabytes per second (Mbps) – a rise of 20.65 percent over the previous year (9.10Mbps).

However, Cable notes that the countries contributing the most to the rising average are those in developed nations. Not only do they already have faster and established infrastructure, but these countries have also been significantly rolling out and adopting the latest network technologies. 

Meanwhile, in the bottom half of the list, there is comparatively little development and therefore little change in availability or uptake of faster infrastructure compared to the top.

“With average broadband speeds rising by 20.65 percent in the last year the global picture looks rosy. But the truth is faster countries are the ones lifting the average, pulling away at speed and leaving the slowest to stagnate,” Consumer Telecoms Analyst at Cable, Dan Howdle said on the global situation.

Moreover, the gap between countries with fast and slow download speed is widening. Last year, the five fastest countries had download speeds around 88 times faster than the five slowest. This year’s data show that the top five are 125 times faster than the five slowest. Taiwan tops the table at 85.02Mbps, compared to Yemen, which is 224 times slower at just 0.38Mbps.

On a continental scale, 37 of the top 50 fastest-performing countries are located in Europe, with ten in Asia and the Pacific, two in North America, and just one in Africa. By contrast, 25 of the 50 slowest-performing countries are located in Africa, 12 in the Arab States with ten in Asia & Pacific, and three in South/Latin America.

“Europe and parts of Asia are dominating the leaderboard once again thanks to largely excellent infrastructure,” Howdle continued. “In all cases, those countries ranking highest are those with a strong focus on pure fibre (FTTP) networks.”

Meanwhile, Africa, with its vast landmass and little in the way of a digital economy when taken as a continental whole, is a long way behind the rest of the world when it comes to broadband provision. The continent still relies primarily on wireless (WiMAX, 3G, 4G) connectivity rather than cables to cover its vast spaces, the report added. Madagascar is the African nation with the fastest speed (33rd globally), clocking in at an average speed of 22.57Mbps. 

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