Broadband speeds up by 10 per cent


Broadband speeds rising, but gap between advertised and real speeds widens, according to Ofcom report

UK broadband speeds have risen by 10 per cent from 6.2Mbps in December 2010, to 6.8Mbps in May 2011, according to figures released by regulator Ofcom.

However, the gap between those speeds that UK households receive from an internet service provider and those advertised has also risen.

The average advertised speed in May was 15 Mbps, 8.2 Mbps higher than the average actual speed of 6.8Mbps. This compares with a gap of 7.6Mbps between real and advertised speeds in December last year.

Ofcom also said that almost half of UK households have opted for broadband packages with advertised speeds of over 10Mbps.

However, while 57 per cent of UK households are now in areas served by Virgin Media cabling or superfast broadband exchanges, more than three quarters of UK households are still using ADSL broadband delivered over copper wires.

Ofcom said that superfast broadband packages offer real speeds far closer to the advertised rates. Virgin Media’s “Up to 30Mbps” cable broadband offered real speeds faster than advertised during the period looked at by Ofcom.

The regulator said that, while few operators now advertise their broadband packages with reference to headline “up to” speeds, it is still “concerned” by gap with actual speeds.

Ofcom Chief executive Ed Richards (pictured) said: “The research is still telling us that some consumers are not receiving anywhere near the speeds that are being advertised by some ISPs.

“Ofcom continues to urge the CAP and BCAP committees to make changes to their advertising guidance so that consumers are able to make more informed decisions based on the adverts they see.”