UK users not getting advertised broadband speeds

Broadband users in the UK are getting short-changed when it comes to their internet speeds, a survey has found. A survey by UK newspaper the Guardian online with 3,000 respondents indicated that there is a significant shortfall between the maximum speeds customers are promised and the speeds they actually receive.

The country-wide actual average broadband speed is 7Mbps, compared to the average 12Mbps headline figure, a gap of 42 per cent, the report found. The worst offenders were the ISP’s Sky and TalkTalk, with a 60 per cent difference between the advertised speed and the real-world speeds. Virgin Media customers were only slightly better off, with 30Mbps customers getting an average of 17.7Mbps. BT did best out of the survey, with its subscribers paying for 8Mbps and getting 6Mbps.

The report follows on the heels of new advertising rules introduced in the country in April, which state that ISPs can only claim ‘up to’ speeds if at just ten per cent of its users can achieve those speeds.

Virgin Media, the UK’s second largest ISP with a FTTC cable network, announced earlier this year that it is gradually doubling the speeds of all its customers during the year, with a headline figure now standing at 120Mbps.

The UK incumbent BT has just announced that it has now connected 10 million British homes to its FTTC network, enabling them to achieve speeds ‘up to’ 80Mbps.

The UK regulator Ofcom states that 2Mbps can be defined a ‘broadband’, and 18 per cent of the report’s respondents were identified as receiving less than this. Poor connectivity is a concern for the industry worldwide however. Apple co-founder, and Silicon Valley legend, Steve Wozniak revealed today that he does not have a broadband connection in his home, though admittedly it is available to him via cable, but chooses not to take up the service in protest as the cable telco’s monopoly in the area.

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