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Study Finds Big UK ISPs Still Failing to Publicise Broadband Upload Speeds

Posted: 12th Sep, 2011 By: MarkJ
ispreview internet broadband isp uk pollThe results from 564 respondents (polled between Mid-August and September 2011) to our latest monthly survey has revealed that 93% would like broadband providers to put more effort into promoting upload speeds on their packages. Some 49.2% said that upload speed was a "Very Important" consideration when picking a new ISP and 90% claimed to know how fast their current rate is.

Upload speed is a measure of how fast an ISP can move data from your computer to the internet. The advent of social networking, which often results in people uploading vast quantities of pictures and videos to share with friends and family online, is reliant upon a good upload rate. Internet voice and especially video calls (e.g. Skype), Cloud computing (business use), VPN and multiplayer gaming are also hugely dependent upon upload performance.

Upon investigating the issue we discovered that none of the markets biggest six broadband ISPs ( BT , Virgin Media , TalkTalk , Sky Broadband , Orange or O2 ) made any clear mention of upload performance alongside their primary package promotions, which typically only referenced the maximum possible download rate. Most hid the upload speed away in their small print or on separate sub-pages, which were often hard to find.
How important is upload speed when you pick a new ISP?
Very Important - 49.6%
Average Importance - 34.7%
Low Importance - 15%
What are upload speeds? - 0.5%

Do you know how fast your upload speed is?
Yes - 90%
No - 9.9%

Many ISPs don't promote their upload speeds, should they?
Yes - 92.9%
No - 7%
Big ISPs need to recognise that upload speed is becoming vitally important for consumers. Nobody likes to hang around on their computer for hours on end while their family photos are uploaded to Facebook, not to mention being forced to suffer unstable or low quality Skype video calls because the consumer, without even realising it, might have chosen a broadband package with a lower upload rate.

Upload performance is generally easy to explain and more stable than download speed but many ISPs, perhaps fearful that consumers won't be able to understand the difference, still appear unwilling to clearly publicise their speeds. This needs to change.

Meanwhile this month's new survey asks whether or not your broadband has ever been cut-off due to bad weather and for how long? Vote Here.
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