The latest anecdotal August 2013 Broadband.co.uk survey of national fixed line consumer broadband ISP speeds in the United Kingdom has revealed that the average internet download rate is now 17.512Mbps (down from 18.662Mbps in July) and the average upload speed has hit 2.894Mbps (down from 3.338Mbps)
It’s worth comparing these results with the latest August 2013 report from Ofcom (here), which found that the average UK download speed was 14.7Mbps (up from 12Mbps six months earlier) and the average upload speed just 1.8Mbps (up from 1.4Mbps). Admittedly Ofcom’s data is from a significantly smaller sample size but its testing methods are a lot more detailed and accurate (i.e. a custom router is installed in people’s homes).
Otherwise Virgin Media continues to hold the top spot as the fastest ISP for download speed with a score of 37.590Mbps (down from 38.073Mbps in July 2013), which is nearly twice what their closest rival BT could deliver (16.726Mbps). Elsewhere BT remains the fastest ISP for upload speed on 4.457Mbps (down from 5.056Mbps), although the gap with Virgin Media (3.980Mbps) is much closer.
Top 7 UK ISPs – Download Speed (Megabits per second)
1. Virgin Media – 37.590Mbps
2. BT – 16.726Mbps
3. PlusNet – 12.417Mbps
4. Sky Broadband – 9.943Mbps
5. EE (Orange) – 9.591Mbps
6. O2 (BE Broadband) – 7.613Mbps
7. TalkTalk (Tiscali) – 7.355Mbps
Top 7 UK ISPs – Upload Speed
1. BT – 4.457Mbps
2. Virgin Media – 3.980Mbps
3. PlusNet – 2.634Mbps
4. EE (Orange) – 1.740Mbps
5. Sky Broadband – 1.646Mbps
6. O2 (BE Broadband) – 0.803Mbps
7. TalkTalk (Tiscali) – 0.766Mbps
It’s interesting to note that most of the big ISPs suffered a slightly fall in performance over the previous July 2013 update (here). Meanwhile Sky Broadband held steady and EE managed to improve its performance (download speeds jumped from 7.712Mbps last month to 9.591Mbps now) and took another step away from the bottom two places that it use to call home. By comparison most ISPs saw a gain to their upload speed, except TalkTalk that fell from 0.946Mbps to 0.766Mbps over the same period.
Disclaimer: Always take anecdotal data like this with a big pinch of salt. Every home is different and performance can be affected by all sorts of issues, many of which are beyond the ISPs ability to control. We do not consider the above data to be a reliable barometer for individual users but it can help to highlight other changes in the market.
In addition, the faster speeds from the latest “superfast” technologies (FTTC, FTTP etc.) can have a very disproportionate impact compared with the older and often significantly slower copper-based ADSL2+ services that are still used by most homes. Sadly the source data doesn’t separate the results out by technology or include smaller ISPs (not enough data).