SA ranks 97th on Worldwide Broadband Speed League

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 03 Sept 2020

South Africa ranks number 97 out of 221 countries on the 2020 Worldwide Broadband Speed League.

This is according to, which conducted over 557 million broadband speed tests worldwide, revealing the ranking of 221 countries and territories when it comes to average national network speeds.

The research was designed and compiled by, and the data gathered by M-Lab, an open source project with contributors from civil society organisations, educational institutions and private sector companies.

Last year, the five fastest countries had download speeds around 125 times faster than the five slowest, says Cable, adding that the gap is widening.

This year, it notes, the top five are 276 times faster than the five slowest. Liechtenstein tops the table at 229.98Mbps, compared to last-place South Sudan, which is 394 times slower at 0.58Mbps.

According to the firm, downloading an HD movie of 5GB in size would take 2m 58s at the average speed experienced in table-topper Liechtenstein, while it would take 19h 31m in last-placed South Sudan.

It points out that 32 of the top 50 fastest-performing countries are located in Europe (Eastern, Western and Baltics), with six in Asia (excluding Near East), seven in the Caribbean region, three in Northern America, and one each in Oceania and Central America.

By contrast, 32 of the 50 slowest-performing countries are located in Sub-Saharan or Northern Africa, five are in Asia (excluding Near East), five are in the Near East, three are in the Commonwealth of Independent States (former USSR) region, three are in Oceania, and one each in South America and the Caribbean region.

The report says 109 countries failed to achieve average speeds of 10Mbps or greater, the speed deemed by UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom to be the minimum required to cope with the needs of a typical family or small business.

Northern Africa recorded the lowest overall Internet speeds as a collective region, with all six qualifying countries in the bottom half of the table.

Mauritania (1.47Mbps) recorded the slowest speed in 210th place, followed by Algeria (1.83Mbps, 204th), and Libya (2.60Mbps, 194th). Morocco (6.55Mbps, 134th), Tunisia (5.66Mbps, 144th), and Egypt (4.71Mbps, 157th) offered the fastest speed in the region.

The report notes that 48 countries were measured in second-slowest region Sub-Saharan Africa, 45 of which found themselves in the lowest 50% of countries in the table.

Going against the trend somewhat were Madagascar (18.00, 77th), Réunion (16.35Mbps, 82nd), and South Africa (14.04Mbps, 97th).

Meanwhile, last-place South Sudan (0.58Mbps, 221st), Equatorial Guinea (0.75Mbps, 218Mbps), Ethiopia (1.12Mbps, 214th), Somalia (1.14Mbps, 213th), and Sudan (1.35Mbps, 212th) all fell within the bottom 10 countries in the world for network speed.

Commenting on the worldwide rankings, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at, says: “While global broadband speeds continue to trend upward, the truth is that the faster countries are the ones lifting the average, pulling away at speed and leaving the slowest to stagnate. Last year, we measured the slowest five countries at 125 times slower than the five fastest.

“This year they are 276 times slower. The slowest countries are not slowing, they are simply not growing. While the fastest countries continue to accelerate year-on-year.”