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Average UK Broadband Speeds Increase By A Third In Six Months

Fibre Broadband © Datskevich Aleh Shutterstock 2012
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Average UK broadband speeds have trebled in the last four years to 12Mbps

Average residential broadband speeds in the UK rose by a third between May and November 2012 as the adoption of superfast broadband increased, according to a new Ofcom report.

Speeds rose from 9Mbps to 12Mbps during the six month period, an increase of 34 percent. This means that average speeds have more than trebled in the last four years from 2.6Mbps in November 2008.

The proportion of users on connections with speeds of more than 30Mbps is now 13 percent, up from 5 percent in 2011, with 77 percent of users on packages advertised as ‘up to 10Mbps’.

“Our research shows that UK consumers are adopting faster broadband packages to cater for their increasing use of bandwidth-heavy services such as video streaming,” said Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom. “Internet providers are working to meet consumer demand through network upgrades and the launch of superfast packages, giving consumers faster speeds and greater choice.”

UK Broadband speeds

Fibre optic quantum cryptography light © asharkyu ShutterstockOfcom said that superfast connection speeds rose from 35Mbps to 44Mbps, while packages advertised as offering speeds of between ‘up to’ 10Mbps and 30Mbps saw an increase of 10 percent from 7.3Mbps to 8.1Mbps. It credited these improvements to upgrade work carried out by Virgin Media on its network and take up of the 76Mbps FTTC service.

However average speeds in the ‘up to’ 2Mbps-10Mbps category actually slowed by a fifth from 5.6Mbps to 44.Mbps. Ofcom attributed this to the fact that a lower proportion of cable connections were included due to the aforementioned upgrades.

Of the 12 ISPs mentioned in the report, Virgin Media’s ‘up to’ 100Mbps package was deemed the fastest, delivering average actual speeds of 92Mbps. Its ‘up to’ 60Mbps offering delivered 59Mbps while the ‘up to’ 30Mbps package served up 28.7Mbps.

Peak district

This compares favourably with BT’s ‘up to’ 76Mbps offering, which recorded average speeds of 63Mbps and its ‘up to’ 38Mbps service saw speeds of 34.2Mbps. However BT’s network performed better during peak times, with very little congestion reported.

“The report shows that the percentage of people taking superfast broadband is rapidly increasing, which Ofcom says is partly down to ISPs such as BT allowing customers to move on to fibre-based broadband for the same or similar price as copper broadband,” said BT. “Ofcom’s survey shows that BT’s customers are getting faster speeds than ever before and that BT’s fibre products provide the most reliable experience.

“It reveals our network is much more likely than Virgin’s to deliver the same speeds in the evening peak times when people most value their connection. We are pleased that Ofcom noted that on some Virgin Media products up to two-thirds of customers saw a significant slowdown in speeds at peak times,” added the company.

“Ofcom’s report proves that Virgin Media customers get the fastest broadband around, at peak times and all day long,” added Virgin Media. “We always deliver speeds far closer to our headline claims than BT manages at any time of day so BT is right to point out their network’s consistency – consistently failing to deliver what they promise.”

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