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Top 8 UK Fastest ISPs by Broadband Speed for August 2012

Tuesday, Sep 4th, 2012 (7:34 am) - Score 1,827

The latest monthly UK summary of anecdotal consumer broadband ISP speed testing data from Broadband.co.uk, which covers the past month of August 2012, reveals that the average internet download speed has fallen slightly from 17.262Mbps (Megabits per second) in July 2012 to 16.720Mbps now.

The average upload speed reached 2.009Mbps over the same period, which is a slight decline from the 2.126Mbps recorded during July 2012. But this month’s big news is that Virgin Media has once against become the fastest overall broadband ISP for both download and upload speeds after it dethroned BT’s top spot for upstream performance by only the smallest of margins. Meanwhile BT and Eclipse Internet continue to battle it out over 2nd and 3rd place.

As usual the top four ISPs tend to be disproportionately faster than the others, which is largely due to their rivals having either a lack of competing superfast broadband technology (e.g. FTTC, Cable) or limited uptake of similar services. In other news AOL UK, which is owned by TalkTalk, has now been removed from the list after it fell “beneath a sensible threshold of tests-per-month that ensure [the] results are statistically useful“.

Top 8 UK ISPs – Download Speed (Megabits/sec)
1. Virgin Media – 33.401Mbps
2. Eclipse Internet – 15.746Mbps
3. BT – 14.172Mbps
4. PlusNet – 9.372Mbps
5. Sky Broadband – 6.848Mbps
6. O2 (BE Broadband) – 6.063Mbps
7. TalkTalk / Tiscali – 5.949Mbps
8. Orange UK – 4.587Mbps

Top 8 UK ISPs – Upload Speed (Megabits/sec)
1. Virgin Media – 2.805Mbps
2. BT – 2.787Mbps
3. Eclipse Internet – 2.645Mbps
4. PlusNet – 0.950Mbps
5. O2 (BE Broadband) – 0.801Mbps
6. Sky Broadband – 0.753Mbps
7. TalkTalk / Tiscali – 0.751Mbps
8. Orange UK – 0.572Mbps

Readers should 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 table to be a reliable barometer for individual users but it can be used to highlight other changes (e.g. connection technology) in the market.

Sadly this table only covers the largest ISPs that deliver internet services on a national scale and thus account for roughly 95% of the UK’s fixed line consumer broadband market. Smaller ISPs simply do not produce enough viable data for comparison. It’s also worth checking out Ofcom’s latest broadband speeds report (August 2012), which is based on a smaller sample but uses more reliable testing methods.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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