Published: 17th Jun 2013
A number of European countries have better access to super-fast broadband than the UK, according to new figures from the European Union (EU).
Britain is currently ranked 11th in terms of high-speed coverage, with 70.3 per cent of internet connections classed as 'next generation'.
This puts the UK behind the likes of Latvia and Cyprus, although it is above other major European nations like France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Malta has the best level of super-fast access, with close to 100 per cent coverage, while the EU average is less than 60 per cent, thinkbroadband reports.
In terms of total broadband connections, 85.6 per cent of British households have an internet subscription, which is second only to Sweden with 87 per cent.
Once again the UK has outperformed the other large EU nations, with Germany, France, Italy and Spain all having a lower level of coverage.
When it comes to internet access in rural areas, Britain is actually leading the way, with 87.2 per cent of households connected. Sweden comes in second with 85.4 per cent, while in Spain rural coverage stands at just 57.8 per cent.
However, even though a relatively high percentage of the UK's rural areas have internet access, many households are still relying on slow and poor performing connections.
For example, research by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in April discovered that less than a third (32 per cent) of farmers have access to broadband that is faster than two Mbps - a speed of 20 Mbps is required for a connection to be considered super-fast.
Indeed, six per cent of the farmers surveyed were found to still be using outdated dial-up internet services.
This type of connection can now provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps and, unlike other forms of broadband, it does not require any infrastructural development whatsoever.
Posted by Mark Wynn
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