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The Fastest Top 6 Big UK Home Broadband ISPs for January 2014

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 (1:48 am) - Score 1,320

The latest monthly UK consumer Internet speed testing data for January 2014 has revealed that the average broadband download speed for the largest six ISPs in the country has slipped to 17.146Mbps (18.376Mbps in Dec 2013), while the average upload rate also dropped to 3.098Mbps (3.320Mbps in Dec 2013).

According to Broadband.co.uk’s seemingly anecdotal data, little has changed since the end of last year except for the fact that PlusNet saw its average download speeds slashed from 18.933Mbps in Dec 2013 to just 13.844Mbps now (their upload performance also dropped from 4.864Mbps to 3.353Mbps). Meanwhile Virgin Media lost a little bit of speed (as did some of the others) but remains the fastest provider for download performance.

Otherwise there’s not a lot to report this month, although it is worth pointing out that BT’s average speed rises to around 27Mbps during the early hours (midnight to 8am) but then moves back to a steady 18Mbps for the rest of the day and night. Sky Broadband and EE exhibited similar behaviour, which is normal because network usage is generally lower at such times. By comparison Virgin is very stable and hovers between 30-33Mbps around the clock.

Top 6 Big UK ISPs for Average Download Speed
1. Virgin Media – 33.101Mbps
2. BT – 19.426Mbps
3. PlusNet – 13.844Mbps
4. EE (Orange) – 11.454Mbps
5. Sky Broadband – 10.653Mbps
6. TalkTalk – 9.560Mbps

Top 6 Big UK ISPs for Average Upload Speed
1. BT – 5.130Mbps
2. Virgin Media – 3.584Mbps
3. PlusNet – 3.353Mbps
4. EE (Orange) – 2.406Mbps
5. Sky Broadband – 2.345Mbps
6. TalkTalk – 1.187Mbps

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.

Furthermore faster speeds from the latest “super-fast” connections (FTTC, FTTP etc.) can have a disproportionate impact compared with the older and often significantly slower copper-based ADSL2+ (up to 20-24Mbps) services that still dominate most homes.

Unfortunately the source data doesn’t separate the results out by technology or include smaller ISPs (not enough data). If smaller providers were included then ISPs like B4RN or Hyperoptic would probably top the charts with their 1Gbps (1000 Megabits) capable fibre optic connections.

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar Phil

    Very poor overall by Plusnet. A big let down lately.

  2. Avatar Slow Someret

    So are we going backwards then ?.

  3. “Unfortunately the source data doesn’t separate the results out by technology or include smaller ISPs (not enough data).”

    Making this report as much use as a chocolate teapot. Why bother?

  4. A reason for the decline in PlusNet average speed has just occurred to me – offering standard ADSL2+ for £2.50 a month must have increased that type of customer one hell of a lot swamping out the higher speeds a much smaller number of FTTC customers would get.

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