The latest summary of anecdotal consumer broadband ISP speed testing data for March 2013 from Broadband.co.uk has found that the average download speed in the United Kingdom reached 18.831Mbps (up from 16.514Mbps in Feb 2013) and the average upload speed stood at 2.945Mbps (up from 2.704Mbps).
Since the last update BSkyB (Sky Broadband) has announced its £180m+ acquisition of the O2 and BE Broadband subscriber base (here), although this won’t impact the Top 8 until later in the year when it’s most likely to become a Top 7.
In the meantime Virgin Media remains the fastest ISP for internet download speed with a score of 38.400Mbps (up from 32.094Mbps in Feb 2013), while BT held the top spot for upload performance at a largely unchanged speed of 4.308Mbps (closely followed by PlusNet).
Sadly Eclipse saw its download rate collapse from 16.194Mbps to 9.284Mbps over the same period and suffered a similar decline in upload performance. This is most likely due to fewer FTTC users conducting speedtests than ADSL subscribers, although sadly the data is too limited for a confirmation.
Top 8 UK ISPs – Download Speed (Megabits per second)
1. Virgin Media – 38.400Mbps
2. PlusNet – 18.597Mbps
3. BT – 17.141Mbps
4. Eclipse Internet – 9.284Mbps
5. Sky Broadband – 8.899Mbps
6. EE (Orange UK) – 7.764Mbps
7. O2 (BE Broadband) – 7.724Mbps
8. TalkTalk (Tiscali) – 5.899Mbps
Top 8 UK ISPs – Upload Speed
1. BT – 4.308Mbps
2. PlusNet – 4.054Mbps
3. Virgin Media – 3.780Mbps
4. Sky Broadband – 1.555Mbps
5. Eclipse Internet – 1.529Mbps
6. EE (Orange) – 1.413Mbps
7. TalkTalk (Tiscali) – 0.900Mbps
8. O2 (BE Broadband) – 0.865Mbps
Health Warning - Readers should always take anecdotal data like this with a huge pinch of salt. Every home or business is different and performance can be affected by all sorts of issues, many of which are beyond the ISPs ability to control. The faster speeds from the latest “superfast” technologies can also have a disproportionate impact compared with the older and significantly slower copper-based ADSL services.
We do not consider the above data to be a reliable barometer for individual users but it can be used to highlight other changes in the market. Sadly the table doesn’t include smaller ISPs because they don’t produce enough data for a useful comparison.