One hears with some regularity that the “United States is behind” on some key measure of consumer high speed access performance. Some would note that it is not likely the United States ever will have the “fastest” high speed access, globally.
That prediction would be based on history, namely the U.S. ranking on tele-density. Back when voice was the only service telcos sold, anywhere, the United States never ranked at the top, globally, and typically ranked somewhere between 10th and 20th.
The reason is the continent-sized market and the lower population density. So some might argue it always will be possible to argue that the United States is behind in high speed access.
Also, global indices are different when looking at fixed network access and mobile access.
The global average fixed download speed is 17.3 Mbps, and the global median fixed download speed is 11.1 Mbps, according to Cisco.
The global average fixed upload speed is 8.8 Mbps, and the global median upload speed is 3.8 Mbps.
In the mobile segment, global average mobile download speed is 6.3 Mbps, and the global median mobile download speed is 4.8 Mbps.
The global average mobile upload speed is 2.6 Mbps, and the global median mobile upload speed is 1.3 Mbps.
Western Europe leads all regions with an average fixed download speed of 20 Mbps.
Asia Pacific follows with an average fixed download speed of 18.8 Mbps. Central and Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific lead all regions in average fixed upload speeds with nearly 12.2Mbps.
North America leads all regions with an average mobile download speed of 10.1 Mbps.
Western Europe follows with an average mobile download speed of 9.5 Mbps. Central and Eastern Europe and North America lead all regions in average mobile upload speeds with 4.9 Mbps and 4.3 Mbps respectively.
The point is that there typically are all sorts of ways to compare high speed access between countries. Such comparisons are difficult and nuanced, and change over time.