By Elsa Baxter
Emirates sees one of the world's biggest jumps in broadband penetration
The UAE has moved into the top 10 countries for broadband
leadership and penetration, according to the third annual study by the
University of Oxford and Cisco.
The research, conducted by the Saïd Business School and the
University of Oviedo’s Department of Applied Economics, found the emirates
witnessed of the biggest jumps in broadband penetration this year, along with
Malta, Cyprus, Ireland and Greece.
The UAE is ranked in joint eight place alongside Qatar in
the top 10 listings, released on Wednesday.
“By delivering better access to education, healthcare,
in-home services through high-quality broadband, the UAE is fast becoming a
leader in connected communities, using the network as a platform to provide
better quality of life for citizens and economic development,” said Wayne Hull,
director and general manager, Cisco UAE.
The UAE also saw strong improvements in broadband
leadership, which is measured by combining broadband penetration rates for each
country with a score given for a network’s download and upload capabilities,
and ability to handle specific internet applications.
According to the report, the UAE moved into the top 10
countries from 12 position in 2009 and 19 position in
2008. Meanwhile, Qatar has fallen from second place in 2009 to joint eighth
this year. In 2008 Qatar was ranked 11.
“Qatar and Bahrain were found to lead their economic groups
in broadband quality by considerable margins, competing comfortably, and often
beating, many of those in more advanced stages of economic development,” the
Globally, broadband quality has improved by 50 percent in
three years due to investments in infrastructure, the report said. Meanwhile,
broadband penetration continues to improve, with 49 percent of households of
countries investigated now having access to the technology – up from 40 percent
“If I had to pick one key aspect of this year’s study, it
would be the unprecedented speed at which a country can become a broadband
leader,” said Tony Hart, associate fellow Saïd Business School, University of