Normally, we spend quite a bit of time looking at precious metals like Gold and Silver, Oil, Real Estate, the Stock Market and other related trends. But, today we are going to look at something entirely different. Something that perhaps you haven’t given much thought to. Ten to Fifteen years ago, I was involved in the Information Technology (IT) field and was responsible for setting up regional offices in cities as different as Berlin is from Bangkok. These far flung offices were in regions of the world from Brazil to Zimbabwe and the major limiting factor was internet access. Although it was common enough in most developed countries, in many areas getting a dedicated IP address along with a high speed internet connection was near impossible. Fortunately in the intervening years high speed connections have become much more common even in the remotest of locations. This has allowed development of critical computer skills even among poor nations. And long term, this may provide a path toward economic development for these countries. But even developed countries may be suffering from a lack of infrastructure as you will see from the following article. ~Tim McMahon, editor.
The Invisible Threat To London’s Economy
The global digital economy is currently growing by 10% every year, which is much faster than the economy as a whole. In order for any country or city to capitalize fully on the benefits of this kind of growth, it has to invest in building the right infrastructure. Digital services, ranging from cloud computing to e-Health, depend entirely on a fast and reliable connection to the Internet.
Most major European cities have realized the potential of the digital boom and have made great strides in improving the broadband infrastructure available for businesses. Ten European capitals have increased their broadband speeds by an average of 448.7 percent since 2009. Bucharest and Paris top this list having achieved average speeds of 85.1 Mbps and 80.28 Mbps respectively. Stockholm with 63.58 Mbps, Helsinki with 48.52 Mbps and Copenhagen with 47.92 Mbps are also included in the list. But London is falling behind, for instance, even Bratislava, Slovakia (42.51 mbps) and Reykjavík, Iceland (50.04 mbps) have speeds almost twice that of London.
Surprisingly, London, with its flourishing start-up scene and its enviable business growth, ranks 26th out of a total of 33 cities measured for their broadband speeds. The English capital offers an average speed of 26.3 Mbps, which is 10 Mbps slower than the average European broadband connection. More importantly, in contrast to the aforementioned capitals, London has only managed a 270.3% increase in speed since 2009.
The infographic below from Prosyn IT Support reveals an even more surprising fact: the City of London, the financial hub of the country and quite literally up there with New York as one of the major financial hubs of the world, has a pitiful average broadband speed of just 11.2 Mbps. Availability of fibre broadband is virtually zero in the City and the West End, while average coverage of fibre broadband in the Heart of London called “the Square Mile” is between 0% and 20%. Even other cities in England have higher connection speeds than London with Bristol at 35.42 mbps, Cardiff at 35.09 mbps and Bolton at 43.37 mbps.
If London’s Internet connection speeds continue to fail to keep pace with the ever-increasing demands of a vibrant global digital economy, before long it will lag so far behind other European economies that economic growth in England may begin to suffer.