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Top 8 UK Fastest Broadband ISPs by Download Speed for October 2012

Friday, November 2nd, 2012 (7:47 am) - Score 6,400

The latest summary of anecdotal consumer broadband ISP speed testing data, which covers the previous month of October 2012, reveals that the average download speed has risen from 17Mbps (Megabits per second) to 18.038Mbps. Average upload speeds have similarly jumped from 1.976Mbps to 2.174Mbps over the same period.

According to Broadband.co.uk, the fastest ISP for internet download speed remains Virgin Media with an impressive result of 33.430Mbps (up from 32.935Mbps last month). Meanwhile Eclipse Internet has stolen Virgin’s crown for the fastest upload speeds (3.321Mbps, up from 2.371Mbps last month). BT saw an almost identical jump in upstream performance and now sits just behind Eclipse.

Top 8 UK ISPs – Download Speed (Megabits/sec)
1. Virgin Media – 33.430Mbps
2. Eclipse Internet – 17.307Mbps
3. BT – 14.403Mbps
4. PlusNet – 12.583Mbps
5. O2 (BE Broadband) – 7.333Mbps
6. Sky Broadband – 7.303Mbps
7. TalkTalk / Tiscali – 5.806Mbps
8. EE (formerly Orange UK) – 4.497Mbps

Top 8 UK ISPs – Upload Speed (Megabits/sec)
1. Eclipse Internet – 3.321Mbps
2. BT – 3.264Mbps
3. Virgin Media – 2.646Mbps
4. PlusNet – 2.575Mbps
5. O2 (BE Broadband) – 0.895Mbps
6. Sky Broadband – 0.806Mbps
7. TalkTalk / Tiscali – 0.797Mbps
8. EE (formerly Orange UK) – 0.577Mbps

It’s interesting to note that the gap between the mature superfast broadband haves and the have nots (i.e. those ISPs still stuck on slower ADSL2+ technology) continues to widen, with the top four appearing to pull away from the pack. But faster speeds also tend to have a disproportionate effect as fewer customers will have a bigger impact on the overall average vs older and significantly slower services.

Sky Broadband and TalkTalk also have superfast services, although they’re younger and have so far failed to attract a sizeable portion of customers. Meanwhile EE (Orange UK) has only just launched its superfast service and thus the failings of their old fixed line network are still quite apparent. O2 (BE Broadband) are now left as the only big ISP without the latest generation of connectivity and it’s not even clear if this will change in 2013 (here).

As usual readers should 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 Ofcoms 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.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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