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Digital Divide in Broadband Quality: LIRNEasia’s Broadband Benchmarking compares South Asia with North America

This is no news, but we now have evidence. Overall, North American broadband users are certainly luckier than their South Asia counterparts. (Please note exceptions!) All four North American broadband packages tested for the Oct 2009 release performed better than any of the nine South Asian ones for value for money in accessing an international server. In other words, the USA and Canadian users pay less for the same amount of bandwidth even ignoring PPP. (Differences should be wider if PPP is considered.)

To add more salt to the wound, in reality the throughput to a local server in North America is what should be compared with throughput to an international server for South Asia. (given what the respective users access most) This will further widen the gap.

There is good news too. Quality has improved in terms of jitter and packet loss – most within acceptable ranges – and RTT is not that bad. North American latency levels are certainly more acceptable, but South Asia has come a long way since the days we have started.

Real Mobile Broadband testing has to wait for few more months as the applications are still being developed, but simulations using PCs (probably this will be the last time we do that) the performance levels were promising.

The full report can be downloaded from here

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