Amid concerns that suppliers are not delivering the speeds they advertise for broadband and a call for greater clarity being enforced by regulators BroadbandChoices.co.uk has announced the ISP heavy hitters that delivered the most consistent broadband speeds in 2007.
Download speed has been an area of much debate in the broadband market throughout 2007, with many ISPs simply not delivering the promised download performance.
A report by consumer group, Which? earlier this year found a “huge” gap between publicised broadband speeds and what most users actually received, with the average speed “enjoyed” by customers on 8Mb packages being as low as 2.7Mb.
Michael Phillips, product director at BroadbandChoices.co.uk, said: “Connections get degraded the further away they are from the BT exchange. Factors like this and poor quality wiring significantly degrade broadband connections and reduce the available speed. It’s simply not possible for every customer to get the advertised speed. Our speed tests show that, on average, customers only receive 35 per cent of the promised speed.1”
BroadbandChoices.co.uk has been continuously monitoring the average speed that ISPs are delivering to their customers since August 2007. Over that period they have collated over 375,000 individual test results across over 8,000 different internet users.
Winners have been awarded a gold, silver or bronze rating in three bandwidth categories:
* Welter Weight – all providers offering up to 2Mb services;
* Cruiser Weight – all providers offering up to 8Mb services (excluding welter weights);
* Heavy Weight – any providers offering up to 16Mb, 20Mb or 24Mb services.
The results concluded that Sky was the broadband supplier that gave the most consistent speeds to its customers during 2007 across all three weight categories. Sky received a gold medal in the cruiser weight category, a silver in the welter weight and a bronze in the heavy weight category.
Close behind Sky, Virgin Media received two gold medals in the welter weight and the heavy weight categories.
TalkTalk did not appear anywhere near the top of the results, having only delivered an average speed of 2.2Mb for its 8Mb package in the cruiser weight division; while the wooden spoon was awarded to Supanet in the Cruiser weight division.
Michael Phillips, comments, “None of our gold medallists actually delivered anywhere near their promised speeds. This really does call for providers to be more honest about the kind of speeds customers can realistically expect to receive, rather than using flashy advertising focused on ever-increasing ‘top speeds’”.