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UK People More Knowledgeable and Unhappy with Broadband ISP Speeds

Posted: 09th Aug, 2010 By: MarkJ
ispreview internet poll uk broadband speed awarenessThe results from 511 respondents (polled in July 2010) to our latest monthly survey have revealed that UK broadband customers are growing more knowledgeable about their ISP speeds. Some 90.8% claimed to know the "advertised" rate of their internet connection and 86.4% even knew the real-world (speedtest estimate) performance too; but what they receive does not make them happy.
Do you know the advertised speed of your broadband connection?
Yes - 90.8%
No - 9.1%

Do you know the real world (speedtest) speed of your broadband connection?
Yes - 86.4%
No - 13.5%

Are you happy with your broadband speed?
No - 59.6%
Yes - 40.3%
Ofcom recently found that the average fixed line UK download speed now stands at 5.2Mbps (Megabits per second), which is up from 4.1Mbps last year. The regulator went on to point out that most ADSL2+ based copper broadband lines advertise speeds of "up to" 20-24Mbps and yet manage to return a real-world average of just 6.5Mbps.

UK ISPs have understandably leapt at the chance to upgrade their older 8Mbps ADSL based packages to the new 20-24Mbps ADSL2+ standard, but by doing so they have further widened the gap between what is expected and what is actually achievable.

ADSL2+ technology only really improves the speed (beyond that of 8Mbps ADSL tech) when you live close enough to the telephone exchange and on a good line. Sadly many people will only see a minimal benefit from it and others might gain nothing at all. There have been some cases of end-users actually losing performance too.

Ofcom's effort to tighten up its code of practice should be commended but it is not an end to the problems. Only by replacing the old copper wire infrastructure with new fibre optic lines can we truly break away and give consumers what they expect.
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