The UAE broadband quality is better than most of the developed countries, including those of G7 states, and has been ranked among top 10 in a survey of broadband leadership.
According to Cisco’s third annual broadband quality survey, broadband access to households has reached 100 per cent as against 70 per cent last year and 65 per cent in the previous year.
The UAE download throughput in 2010 doubled to 3,143 kbps from 1,551 kbps last year. Upload speeds were up only eight per cent since 2009, but 124 per cent since 2008.
The emirate’s ranking has been constantly improving over the past three years. It was ranked eighth worldwide in 2010 against 12 in 2009 and 18 in the previous year. Qatar has also been ranked at par with the UAE in 2010.
In terms of evolution, the UAE has seen steady improvement in the ranking. It has jumped to eighth position in 2010 from 12 in 2009 and 19 in the previous year. However, Qatar fell from second position in 2009 to eighth this year.
However, the emirate is lagging in improvement in latency particularly in 2010. The latency, the time for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another, worsened to 213 milliseconds in 2010 from 191 ms in 2009 and 329 ms in the previous year.
According to an Arab Advisors Group report, the UAE has the fourth most expensive broadband rates in 19 Arab countries. The average total annual cost for the 1024 Kbps residential ADSL service in the Arab region stands at $736.4 per year, it said.
Dr Tarek Coury, Economist at the Dubai School of Government, said: "The UAE ranks at the top of broadband leadership. Broadband infrastructure is key in the development of a knowledge economy and the UAE's improvement in quality will no doubt contribute to this development. The ranking however does not measure the cost to businesses of using this broadband. In order to ensure that this broadband leadership translates into economic outcomes, broadband needs to be provided at competitive rates, especially in the free zones."
South Korea has been maintaining its top position for the third consecutive year in both quality and rate of improvement.
The results of the third annual study of the quality of broadband connections around the globe revealed continued improvements worldwide, with more countries already prepared for the applications of tomorrow than in previous years and two thirds of the countries analysed meeting or surpassing today's needs.
Overall, thanks to a range of investments in infrastructure, global broadband quality has improved by 50 per cent in just three years and penetration of broadband continues to improve, with about half of the households (49 per cent) of the countries investigated now having access to broadband (up from 40 per cent in 2008).