Home nations fail to impress in Euro 2020 Broadband Championships

While England, Wales, and Scotland might be heading into the delayed UEFA Euro 2020 tournament with high hopes of a good campaign on the pitch, it would be a very different picture if the nations that qualified were competing based on broadband connection speed.

A study by Voneus, one of the UK’s largest rural broadband specialists, simulated the upcoming 2020 European Championships focusing on download speed rather than footballing prowess, using data from Ookla Speedtests and thinkbroadband.com.

In this scenario, just one of the UK nations would make it through the group stages, with Wales (45Mbps) and Scotland (52.1Mbps) falling at the first hurdle.

Wales’ average broadband speed was the second worst in the tournament, with only Turkey (31.5Mbps) slower.

It won’t be ‘coming home’ for England (59.4Mbps) either, eliminated after being knocked out by Sweden (165.5Mbps) in the next round.

Denmark (197.3Mbps) repeat their heroics of 1992, where they lifted the trophy after becoming a last minute qualifier; winning the broadband competition after beating Portugal (135.7Mbps), Switzerland (183.9Mbps), and Hungary (187.5Mbps) on their run to the final against France (184.8Mbps).

However, the Danes can count themselves lucky, as the country with the fastest average broadband download speeds on the continent, Romania (205.7Mbps), failing to qualify for Euro 2020.

Of the bottom five qualifying nations in terms of download speeds, three are members of the UK.

Zoe Day, head of marketing and communications at Voneus, which delivers superfast and ultrafast connections across 22 counties, believes the UK needs to wake up to the need for improved speeds before it falls further behind.

She said: “This research paints a worrying picture for the UK’s digital infrastructure.”

“Having fast and reliable broadband is an absolute necessity in today’s world, whether it’s for personal or economic reasons.

“Furthermore, we know rural broadband speeds across the UK are typically a fraction of those enjoyed in urban areas. If we were able to just focus on rural broadband, it’s likely England, Wales, and Scotland would finish in the bottom three overall.

“Having seamless internet access will be crucial for fans when the tournament kicks off. During the 2018 World Cup, England’s match against Sweden attracted two million viewers on the BBC’s digital platforms, which was almost double the peak from the 2014 World Cup final.

“Globally, an estimated 309.7 million watched World Cup broadcasts either out of their homes, at live events, or on digital platforms.

“People’s expectations are that they should be able to view content anywhere. Judging by the results, many UK football fans will have to tackle buffering as they cheer on their team this summer.”

You can see the full research in the infographic below:

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