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BT remains ‘best’ ADSL provider

BT has taken the crown once again as the best performing UK ADSL provider in terms of technical performance.

The operator has held the top position for the last three quarters, according to the fourth quarter Internet Performance Indicator report from Epitiro, a customer experience management firm, which counts almost all the UK’s leading ISPs among its customer base.

BT maintained its dominant position by offering the fastest HTTP download speed, as well as the fastest FTP downloads.

Pipex provided the fastest FTP upload speed and managed to slip into second place behind BT.

Orange re-entered the top five in third place by delivering the fastest ping time, which makes it a popular choice for online gamers.

Thus’ Demon came in at fourth, while Virgin took the fifth spot. Virgin’s services had the lowest packet loss rate in armlet where the overall packet loss, whilst remaining low, more than doubled in the past quarter.

Virgin also had the lowest percentage of connection failures in the last quarter of 2006, suggesting that its consumer ADSL customers had the highest degree of uptime.

Plusnet achieved the highest connection speed for the second quarter running but failed to make it into the top five.

Epitiro’s benchmarking system tests internet services from the end users’ perspective, providing figures on the speed and reliability of connections.

“Our testing has shown that in terms of technical performance, BT and Pipex are still maintaining their position in the top five,” said Gavin Johns, managing director of Epitiro.

“A broadband connection isn’t just about speed. The connection has to be available when you need it and, with the growth of VoIP, internet gaming and videoconferencing, it has to be able to deal with lots of different online activities.”

Epitiro delivered welcome news to ADSL users with research that found that industry average connection and HTTP download speeds have increased steadily through 2006, with the average consumer ADSL connection speed for the fourth quarter at 5.73Mbps.

“ISPs are increasing their speeds, which is good news for bandwidth-hungry users,” said Johns. “Speeds have increased from 3.82Mbps in the third quarter due to new ADSL Max entrants into the ten largest broadband providers.

“However it’s unlikely that many ADSL Max services will perform at their full capacity of 8Mbps. The speed of broadband service reduces the further the customer’s connection is from their local telephone exchange,” he said.

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