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UK Broadband Speeds Average 2.95Mbps
By: MarkJ - 19 February, 2008 (9:28 AM)

Comparison site Broadband-Expect has published the results of over 18,500 connection speed tests conducted during January 2008. The outcome revealed an average UK broadband speed of just 2.95Mbps, which is far below the "advertised" 8Mbps speeds of most providers.

The results varied enormously with the lowest download speed being 1.72Mbps from Tiscali, through to the highest average of 6.07Mbps with Be broadband, which is no doubt thanks to a strong network and use of 'up to' 24Mbps ADSL2+ technology.

Upload Speeds varied greatly between providers too with Be broadband achieving the fastest average upload speeds of 850Kbs and Orange the slowest at 219Kbps. The average upload speed was clocked at 296Kbps (0.29Mbps):

“Despite ongoing pressure from Ofcom and various consumer groups, broadband providers are still misleading the public over broadband speeds,” said William Harvey, Broadband-Expert.co.uk Technical Director. “Current advertising campaigns like the one for Tiscali broadband promise superfast broadband (download) speeds of up to 8Mb. Yet the average actual speed achieved by Tiscali customers was a pitiful lowly 1.72Mb. Now that is not superfast by any stretch of the imagination and is over 1Mb lower than the UK average.”

Typically most land line broadband technologies are based off a "best efforts" network design, where bandwidth must be shared between customers in any given area, otherwise it is not economical to deliver.

Sadly some ISPs make a bad situation worse by oversubscribing and running misleading marketing strategies. However the distance from your local exchange can also play a part, as can line interference, ISP side restrictions and the technology used. We've rewritten the Top 10 fastest broadband ISPs for downloading below:

1. Be (6.07Mbps)
2. Virgin Media (4.59Mbps)
3. Namesco (3.63Mbps)
4. Sky (3.41Mbps)
5. Plusnet (3.37Mbps)
6. Orange (2.99Mbps)
7. TalkTalk (2.75Mbps)
8. Madasafish (2.51Mbps)
9. Demon (2.24Mbps)
10. BT (2.18Mbps)
11. AOL (2.07Mbps)
12. Pipex (1.94Mbps)
13. Eclipse (1.89Mbps)
14. Tiscali (1.72Mbps)

It’s worth pointing out that most online activities can happily be achieved through a connection speed of 1 to 2Mbps, although more modern IPTV and HD content services can be a very different story. Often the greatest problem is not so much the speed you receive but how much it fluctuates during any given activity, especially for multiplayer gaming enthusiasts and those that like to watch online video.

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