Ofcom: UK Broadband Speed Shoots Up To 9Mbps
Ofcom data says UK broadband isn’t as bad as others think
The average broadband speed in the UK stood at 9Mbps in May 2012, over twice the speed the nation was getting in November 2008, according to data from Ofcom.
The communications watchdog praised ISPs for their network upgrades, claiming the “move to faster broadband services is gathering momentum”.
“Consumers are benefiting from network upgrades and the launch of new superfast packages, giving them faster speeds and greater choice,” said Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive.
In its report, Ofcom did not look at all UK connections. It looked at ISP packages, which the regulator said accounted for over half of UK residential broadband connections in May 2012.
In May, over two-thirds of UK fixed-line residential broadband users were on packages with advertised speeds higher than ‘up to 10Mbps’, an increase from 48 percent a year ago.
Whilst just eight percent were using superfast connections, with an advertised speed of ‘up to’ 30Mbps or above, that was still a fourfold increase from May 2011 when just two percent were using such networks.
However, the average actual broadband speed recorded for fibre to the street cabinet (FTTC) connections slipped 12 percent in the six months leading up to May 2012, from 36Mbps to 31.6Mbps.
Nevertheless, Ofcom noted the efforts of BT and Virgin, who have been hard at work upgrading their infrastructure. BT recently announced it was doubling downstream speeds for some of its fibre Infinity connections, whilst Virgin has been doubling speeds for most of its broadband connections, increasing the top speed of its fastest package to up to 120Mbps.
The UK is still struggling to compete with other nations when it comes to broadband speeds, however. Indeed, other figures indicate Ofcom’s calculations are too high. Akamai’s first quarter ‘State of the Internet’ report revealed earlier this month that the UK was 21st in the broadband league table, with an average connection speed of 5.6Mbps. Akamai, a content delivery network, looked at data from across its own servers.
The troubled Broadband Development UK (BDUK) project is yet to bear fruit either. All bar one of the many planned BDUK projects are on hold, as the European Commission decides whether the process is competitive enough and if state aid should be handed to organisations such as BT and Fujitsu.
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