Singapore is well ahead of the pack with the fastest average (mean) download speed of 55.13Mbps, according to a report from cable.co.uk that ranks 189 countries.
Sweden is a comfortable second (40.16Mbps) followed by Taiwan (34.40Mbps). However, British and American users are not so lucky. The USA is in 21st place on 20.00Mbps, and Canada takes 26th with 18.03Mbps. The UK comes 31st with 16.51Mbps, behind 19 other European countries. (At least we made the top 20 in Europe.)
The numbers are based on more than 63 million test results, though 45.4 million of those were in the USA, 4 million in Canada and 2.4 million in Australia. There were only 218 from Burkina Faso, where the average speed was 0.49Mbps. The only slower places were Gabon (0.41Mbps) and Yemen (0.34Mbps).
The report says a user in Singapore could download a Full HD movie (7.5GB) in 18 minutes and 34 seconds. It would take an American 51'13" and a Brit just over an hour. For the average Yemeni, the download time stretches to 2 days, 2 hours, 2 minutes and 28 seconds.
The results favour small countries with concentrated populations, like Singapore, and countries that have installed the most fiber optic broadband, such as Sweden and Latvia.
They also show the benefits of having smart governments that are committed to advanced technologies. Again, Singapore is the world leader: it has been pushing its "intelligent island" theme for decades. Others include fourth-placed Denmark (33.54Mbps), sixth-placed Latvia (30.36Mbps) and, in 13th place, Estonia (24.11Mbps).
The UK is not the only developed nation to score badly. Other examples include France (13.43Mbps), Italy (10.71Mbps) and Israel (7.2Mbps).
The data was compiled by M-Lab, a consortium that includes New America's Open Technology Institute (OTI), Google Open Source Research and Princeton University's Planet Lab.
M-Lab says it "provides the largest collection of open Internet performance data on the planet". Anyone can test their broadband speed at M-Lab's website.