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Speed Tested – BT’s Free “up to 1Gbps” London Wi-Fi InLinkUK Kiosks

Friday, Aug 11th, 2017 (3:59 pm) - Score 2,139

Five of BT’s new InLinkUK kiosks in London have just been tested to see if they’re able to deliver WiFi speeds of close to the advertised “up to 1Gbps” capability. Sadly the average speed after 43 tests was 47.4Mbps download and 44Mbps upload, with a standard download deviation of 19.5Mbps.

In fairness the testing, which was conducted by Thinkbroadband, only used an iPhone 6 Plus (additionally a Mac Book Air was tried at one location) and we know from our own experience that the 802.11ac wireless chip inside the iPhone can struggle to reach around +/-300Mbps, often even when sitting almost right on top of a Gigabit WiFi capable router. However lots of factors can impact WiFi performance.

Nevertheless we’ve long assumed that the claimed speed of “up to 1Gbps” on BT’s kiosks was likely to reflect shared capacity (i.e. many users sucking from the same supply), although we still share TBB’s disappointment at not being able to reach into “ultrafast” (100Mbps+) territory. Sadly TBB doesn’t provide much information about the distance of each test and the testing itself only took place between 2-5pm, which could impact the results (London is a busy place during the early afternoon).

Apparently the fastest recorded test delivered 93Mbps download and 57Mbps upload (we’ll assume this was recorded while standing right next to the kiosk), which is still very good compared to the dire state of most free public WiFi networks and in fact many fixed line broadband services. TBB also noted that the signal held fairly stable up to around 100 metres, where performance fell away into the land of single digits.

On top of that there’s likely to be a degree of congestion in the airways around busy cities like London, which could also be impacting the top level of performance.

inlinkuk bt london kiosk

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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