Only nine countries are ready for the next-generation of network demands
A study of the global state of broadband has put the UK 25th out of 66 countries in terms of the quality and reach of its networks.
The research for Cisco found that countries such as Latvia and Bulgaria were better prepared than the UK for next-generation net applications.
The UK was listed among countries whose broadband is "meeting needs for today".
South Korea and Japan continue to dominate the league table, largely due to their commitment to fast networks.
In South Korea, for example, the government has promised universal speeds of up to 1Gbps (gigabit per second) by 2012.
Despite not being ready for future applications, the UK was well placed to cope with today's network demands, the study found.
LEADERS IN BROADBAND QUALITY
"It can be a bit misleading to look at the rankings. The important thing is whether the broadband quality of a country is good enough for today's needs and the UK falls well within this category," said Joanne Hughes, Cisco's communication manager.
She expects the UK to improve dramatically next year.
"We forecast the UK will improve because of things such as cable networks being upgraded and the Digital Britain report focusing on next generation access," she said.
The study was conducted jointly by Oxford University's Said Business School and Spain's University of Oviedo's Department of Applied Economics.
It found that the average download speed globally was 4.75Mbps (megabits per second), while average upload speed was 1.3Mbps.
Researchers also worked out how fit countries were to cope with the demands of today's users based on a set of applications consumers are likely to use.
These included sharing photos, using video on Skype, watching YouTube and standard definition BBC iPlayer content.
So why are we so low down the league? The answer, it seems is simple - fibre and cable
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