Almost a third of UK broadband connections ‘superfast’


Ofcom research reveals 32 per cent of broadband speeds had headline speeds of up to 30Mbps or above, with average speeds reaching 22.8Mbps 

Nearly one third of UK broadband connections are now superfast, reaching speeds of 30Mbps and above.

This is according to new research from Ofcom for November, which it said was based on data provided by the seven largest ISPs by subscriber numbers. These were Virgin Media, BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet, EE and KC.

It revealed 32 per cent of connections were superfast, up from 28 per cent in May and 24 per cent from a year earlier. Average speeds increased by a fifth in six months to 22.8Mbps.

The average actual speed being delivered across connections with headline speeds of up to 30Mbps and above was 50.4Mbps, up from 47Mbps six months earlier.

Ofcom said this follows a speed upgrade programme by Virgin Media, allowing customers to ‘opt-in’ for faster broadband.

The average speeds of fibre services (not including cable connections) and ADSL connections – the most common type of residential broadband, showed no significant change in the six months, with results of 41.6Mbps and 7.3Mbps respectively.

Virgin’s ‘up to’ 152Mbps service achieved the fastest download speeds of the ISPs covered in the research, averaging 132.6Mbps over 24 hours. Plusnet’s ‘up to’ 76Mbps package delivered the fastest upload speeds at 17Mbps on average.

Ofcom said broadband can slow down at peak times (between 8pm and 10pm on weekdays) due to a large number of people going online at the same time. The term is known as network ‘contention’.

Sky’s 38Mbps broadband showed the effects of network contention the least, with 96 per cent of the 1,711 panelists taking part in the research receiving 90 per cent or more of their connection’s maximum speed at peak times.

EE 38Mbps broadband on the other hand performed the least well, with seven per cent of panelists receiving 90 per cent or more of their maximum speeds at peak times.