Broadband users all over the UK have been testing their speeds and as a result of the 18,558 tests carried out in January on broadband comparison site Broadband-Expert.co.uk, the average speed in the UK is 2.95Mb.
The results varied enormously with the lowest download speed being 1.72Mb from Tiscali, through to the highest average of 6.07Mb with Be broadband. Download speed describes the rate at which a computer downloads information from the internet like emails, web pages, music and video. The higher download speeds of Be, who also provide the technology behind O2’s broadband service, is partially due to the ADSL2+ technology which allows much greater speeds to be achieved. Most providers currently provide their broadband connections through the more traditional ADSL technology.
“Despite ongoing pressure from Ofcom and various consumer groups broadband providers are still misleading the public over broadband speeds,” said William Harvey, Broadband-Expert.co.uk Technical Director.
“Current advertising campaigns like the one for Tiscali broadband promise superfast broadband (download) speeds of up to 8Mb. Yet Tiscali came bottom of our test results with an average actual download speed of just 1.72Mb. Now that is not superfast by any stretch of the imagination and is over 1Mb lower than the UK average.”
The average upload speed was clocked at 296Kbs or 0.296Mb. Upload speed is the rate that data is transferred from a computer to the internet and is very important for online gaming, uploading photos to sites like Facebook sending large email attachments, and other activities which transmit information back to the internet from a PC. Upload speeds varied greatly between providers too with Be broadband achieving the fastest average upload speeds of 850Kbs and Orange the slowest at 219Kbs.
“Broadband providers can confuse consumers by stating maximum broadband speeds that are often only achieved by a very small percentage of subscribers”.
“Providers should state the average download and upload speeds achieved by their broadband subscribers, this would give consumers a better idea of the sort of speeds they are likely to receive and would encourage providers to deliver better broadband products”.
Each month Broadband-Expert.co.uk stores all of the results from the tests and the results of the fastest speeds by providers vary enormously. The highest recorded speed in January was 23.15Mb from a Be broadband customer down to only 5.99Mb for the fastest Eclipse customer.
“Our recent results, in terms of speed, show that the providers with ADSL2+ technology provide by far the highest speeds.”