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Detailed Broadband Download Speeds for the Top 20 Fastest UK ISPs

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 (1:30 pm) - Score 1,593

A new report has produced a detailed breakdown of the top 20 fastest broadband providers in the United Kingdom by Internet download speed, which goes into significantly more depth than most of the other studies we’ve seen. Overall Hyperoptic’s FTTH network in London tops the table, while TalkTalk’s low cost and ADSL dominated solution gets pushed to the bottom.

The data from Thinkbroadband has been split into several different tables, which allows us to see various different aspects of the raw information. For example, it usefully depicts what the fastest 10% of an ISPs customer base receive (e.g. 50.5Mbps on BT) and what the slowest 10% get (e.g. 1.8Mbps on BT).

As usual it’s important to remember that some ISPs offer more than one method of connection technology (e.g. ADSL and FTTC), while others that claim to deliver Gigabit speeds will also sell slower speed packages at a lower cost. Business connections are also more prevalent than domestic ones on some ISPs and issues such as these will affect the results of any study. In addition, such data generally reflects what people actually use rather than the availability of the best connection method.

On top of that some of the fastest ISPs, such as Gigaclear, haven’t been included due to a lack of raw testing data (a common problem for smaller providers) and it’s also unclear how many samples were used to produce each providers result. Similarly there are some providers listed, such as ADSL24 (sold off to Coms), which no longer exist but may still show because their connections remain tagged to the old name. Likewise Murphx was a supplier, rather than an end-user ISP, that was gobbled by Daisy a few years ago.

Never the less the information presented is quite illuminating and gives a better overview than most other studies into broadband performance, provided you remember to consider all the usual caveats of such data (as above).

Download Speeds for the 20 Fastest Providers (October 2014)
Provider Bottom 10% (Mbps) Lower Quartile (Mbps) Median (Mbps) Mean (Mbps) Upper Quartile (Mbps) Top 10% (Mbps) % with Superfast Speeds % Under 2 Mbps (USC)
Hyperoptic 18.7 22.9 64.8 106.4 108.2 268.9 66.7% 4.2%
Virgin Media 7 19 33.3 44.2 57.4 97.6 57.6% 3%
ClaraNet 3.1 4.5 6.4 24.7 37.8 86.3 25% 10%
Zen Internet 2.4 5.3 12.8 24.4 37.4 68 33.7% 7.2%
Madasafish 1.6 5.1 14.4 21.3 36.8 51.6 27.9% 13.2%
BT 1.8 4.5 12.9 20.4 33.5 50.5 28.2% 12%
EasyNet 1.9 4.1 7.4 19.5 20.6 50.6 15% 15%
Plusnet 1.7 4 10.2 19.2 31.3 55.2 25.8% 12.4%
AAISP 3.1 5.8 10.9 19.2 25.5 57.4 17.1% 8.6%
Relish 3.5 7.1 15.4 18.1 23.9 42 15.2% 6.1%
Entanet 2.2 3.2 6.9 17.8 20.1 56.9 20.8% 7.8%
IDNet 2.2 2.8 6.4 17.7 33.6 48.6 23.3% 11.6%
KC 3.6 5.7 9.8 16.8 14.1 49.2 13.4% 3%
Timico 0.8 5.4 9.3 16.3 28.8 36.5 16.7% 25%
Wild West Net 6.7 11.4 14 15.8 21.4 25.6 0% 5.3%
Overseas Mobile 1.7 4.1 6.4 14.4 13 28.8 4.3% 17.4%
EE/Orange Mobile 1.2 3.6 8.4 13.7 18.8 30.3 9.5% 15.8%
Sky Broadband 1.7 3.6 8.2 13 16.1 31 10.7% 12%
ICUK 1.7 4.7 10.6 11.9 13.1 18.5 0% 23.1%
ADSL24 2.4 4 5.1 11.4 13.5 36.7 6.7% 6.7%
Murphx 1.8 4.7 6.8 11.2 13.1 34.1 6.7% 20%
AOL 1.3 2.8 6.1 11.1 13.4 33.4 12.2% 16.9%
Demon 1.6 3.2 5.4 10.7 9.9 16.3 6.1% 14.8%
EE 1.2 3 6.3 10.5 13.1 26.1 8.6% 16.2%
TalkTalk 1.8 3.4 6.5 10.5 12.9 28.4 9.3% 12.1%

Leave a Comment
11 Responses
  1. Avatar Steve Jones says:

    Kudos to TBB for the stats, and especially the provision of more than just mean speed figures.

    Interesting stuff. However, I suspect that we need to be rather careful over interpreting the lower decile numbers. They are vulnerable to poorly controlled testing environments (such as use of WiFi, local contention, PC contention etc.). It’s notable that even those environments (like cable) have much lower decile numbers than might be expected. Also, these tests are from a self-selecting sample, so it might contain a disproportionate number of “problem” connections.

    Anyway, despite that reservation, it’s extremely interesting stuff, and there’s a clear relationship (on the DSL side) between those ISPs heavily marketing “premium” VDSL services against the “budget” ADSL services.

    The movement over time will also tell an interesting story.

  2. Avatar terri says:

    shocked TT is in it~( should be the slowest ) isp going especially using BT vdsl rubbish within there green cabinet malarkey

    1. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      I am struggling to see what point you are making. TT makes relatively little use of VDSL, which is one of the key reasons they are at the bottom of the chart. That, and a suspicion that they suffer a little more contention.

      However, the pattern for DSL is pretty clear. The higher the percentage of customers you have on VDSL, the better the performance.

    2. Avatar No Clue says:

      “However, the pattern for DSL is pretty clear. The higher the percentage of customers you have on VDSL, the better the performance.”

      Er NO, the higher the amount of VDSL users a company has the greater the chance that the PEAK (or top 10%) speed is higher, not the performance in general or the average speed. Which for BT as an example compared to others with 12.9Mb is still pathetically poor to many in the list.

  3. Avatar DTMark says:

    I find myself asking this each time these results come up:

    Why is Sky so appalling?

    Everyone seems to rave about them. And yet consistently, they’re near the bottom of the league table for speed despite pushing fibre in their adverts, unlike Talk Talk.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      It’s always difficult to know due to the variety of factors that might be at work, although the fact they don’t publish FTTC figures probably tells you something about the proportion of uptake. It may also be that they have more rural customers with slower ADSL lines (they certainly have a lot of off-net / 218k on BT and those tend to be rural or slower connections). On the other hand they might just be a bit crap in more than a few areas :).

    2. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      Their constant stream of promotions offering free LLU might explain the lack of FTTC uptake.

    3. Avatar No Clue says:

      “Their constant stream of promotions offering free LLU might explain the lack of FTTC uptake.”

      Yep all their “free” broadband deals, cheapo TV bundle deals and similar are for ADSL. People in general still probably go to sky initially for a TV service and just end up with a form of broadband albeit not the latest or greatest speed wise as a cheap/free bonus.

    4. Avatar DTMark says:

      It makes me wonder if Talk Talk and Virgin have it a little wrong with their advertising.

      Both of which seem to push price as the major factor, in the case of Talk Talk particularly, pushing to the lowest social demographics/least affluent.

      Whereas Sky seem to be picking up the ‘cheap’ customers with frankly, and I have no love for Sky at all, some of the all time best adverts I’ve ever seen – those with the little creatures and the ‘wee fee’ pushing range and quality.

    5. Avatar No Clue says:

      Yeah of the big 4 (Talk Talk, BT, Sky and Virgin) Sky currently have the best TV ads, BTs are just annoying, Talk Talks you dunno what the ad is for until half way through and the Virgin and Bolt thing is getting old now.

  4. Avatar Vince says:


    At home I use Sky. I have Fibre Pro Unlimited.

    It’s everything it claims to be. I get the full 80/20 sync (really not far from a cab) and I can pull those speeds 24/7 – and I have to see how realistic it is. I’ve never had a problem getting the speed they claim.

    I was just as surprised as anyone else – I figured it would be total rubbish.

    I suspect the issue is that Sky only offer 40/10 commonly, you have to really try to get them to offer the Pro (as in it’s not obviously promoted, they apply connection costs you don’t get on the 40/10 and try and suggest you use that first).

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