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UK Broadband ISP Users Receive Less than HALF the Advertised Speed

Posted: 11th May, 2009 By: MarkJ
Broadband ISP consumers in the UK are, on average, receiving less than half (45.8%) of the advertised 'up to' speed they are paying for. That is the result of the latest research from comparison site Broadband Genie, which analysed data on the largest eight UK broadband suppliers across thousands of speed tests carried out by visitors to its website.

The study also found that Virgin Media and O2 ( Be Broadband ) recorded the best results on higher speed packages, with customers on 20Mbps lines recording average speeds above 8Mbps. Both ISPs also saw the best recorded averages on their 8Mbps lines, at 3.8Mbps and 3.5Mbps respectively: 48% and 44% of the advertised 'up to' speed.

Commenting on the results, an O2 spokesperson said: "O2's home broadband packages use the ADSL2+ network which allows for a faster download speed of up to 24Mb. As per our terms and conditions, the speeds customers will receive will vary depending on the distance from the telephone exchange. Speeds may also be slow at peak times and in certain areas with any service provider.

When connecting a customer we give an initial estimate of the speed they can expect - we then monitor this to make sure it is accurate. If the speed is considerably lower than expected, we will contact the customer to let them know and may also move them to a different package if it's better suited for them.
"

A Virgin Media spokesperson concluded: "We're continuing to invest heavily in our network to ensure customers get the best broadband experience possible. The newly increased capacity of our next generation network is providing benefits to customers on lower speeds - for example, recent independent evidence, from Epitiro demonstrates our 'up to 10Mb' fibre optic broadband delivers customers more than double the throughput of similar 'up to 8Mb' packages from BT, Tiscali and Orange."

The overall results on 2Mbps lines were generally much closer to the advertised speeds than those on faster lines. The worst test results came from BT, AOL and Orange, with each recording overall actual/expected Mb ratios of around 33%. Even the 2Mbps packages from these three providers returned results of around just 60%, with speed tests averaging around 1.15Mbps.

According to Virgin Media, Epitiro ISP-I performance stats indicate average throughput performance on comparable services in Q4 2008 was: Virgin Media 10Mb package (6.9Mb) vs 'up to 8Mb' on BT (3.4Mb), Tiscali (2.5Mb) and Orange (2.1Mb).
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