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Top 8 UK Fastest Broadband ISPs by Internet Speed for September 2012

Tuesday, Oct 2nd, 2012 (7:40 am) - Score 5,270

The latest summary of anecdotal consumer broadband ISP speed testing data from Broadband.co.uk, which covers the previous month of September 2012, reveals that the average internet download speed has increased slightly from 16.720Mbps (Megabits per second) in August to top 17Mbps now.

Elsewhere the average internet upload speed hit 1.976Mbps (practically unchanged from 2.009Mbps in the previous month) and Virgin Media remains the fastest overall ISP for both download (32.935Mbps) and upload (2.784Mbps) performance; this is largely thanks to Virgin’s free double speed upgrade (due to be completed by mid-2013).

BT, Eclipse Internet and now PlusNet have also continued to put in a good showing, which is all thanks to the growing adoption and coverage of their superfast broadband (FTTC) packages. But faster speeds tend to have a disproportionate effect as fewer customers will have a bigger impact on the overall average vs older and significantly slower ADSL2+ based services.

On the other hand TalkTalk has had a similar superfast broadband service for quite awhile and yet it hasn’t showed in their results. This is largely because of low take-up, which is perhaps partly due to the ISP being budget-focused and only offering FTTC as a premium “boost” instead of its own unique product (could be confusing). Meanwhile Sky only recently launched their FTTC service and thus it’s still too early for it to have much of an impact.

Top 8 UK ISPs – Download Speed (Megabits/sec)
1. Virgin Media – 32.935Mbps
2. Eclipse Internet – 14.342Mbps
3. BT – 13.431Mbps
4. PlusNet – 11.249Mbps
5. O2 (BE Broadband) – 7.107Mbps
6. Sky Broadband – 6.881Mbps
7. TalkTalk / Tiscali – 5.658Mbps
8. Orange UK – 4.573Mbps

Top 8 UK ISPs – Upload Speed (Megabits/sec)
1. Virgin Media – 2.784Mbps
2. BT – 2.691Mbps
3. Eclipse Internet – 2.371Mbps
4. PlusNet – 1.498Mbps
5. O2 (BE Broadband) – 0.887Mbps
6. Sky Broadband – 0.827Mbps
7. TalkTalk / Tiscali – 0.730Mbps
8. Orange UK – 0.620Mbps

We recommend that readers 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 be used to highlight other changes in the market. In addition the table does not include smaller ISPs because they simply don’t produce enough data for an effective comparison.

Readers should also check out Ofcom’s latest August 2012 Broadband ISP Speeds Study because it contains a lot of useful information about the country’s internet connectivity performance across different ISPs and technology types.

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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