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UK Average Broadband Speeds: The figures in pictures

What happened?

Last week Ofcom released its latest report on the state of Broadband Britain. We took a precision microscope to the findings, breaking down the results of ADSL2+ broadband and FTTC fibre broadband. As well as some impressive headline speeds we took a look at the other things you might want to consider when shopping around for broadband; low latency, jitter and DNS failure rates are as important as double figure speeds in some cases.

UK Average Broadband Speeds: The figures in pictures

Ofcom reports are stat minefields with not all the relevant info immediately clear. Thankfully Misco has put together some of infographics distilling the basics; 9.0Mbps is the overall UK average speed, up from 7.6Mbps in November 2011, when the last survey was taken. Now, 68 per cent of the UK is getting speeds above 10Mbps – higher than the UK national average. 

UK Average Broadband Speeds: The figures in pictures

These graphs are a bit easier on the eye than multi-page PDFs and great for an at-a-glance look at Broadband Britain.

August 21, 2012


UK Average Broadband Speeds

The most recent figures from Ofcom (from a survey taken May 2012) show:

UK average ADSL2+ broadband download speed: 5.6Mbps

UK average fibre broadband download speed: 35.8Mbps

UK average broadband download speed: 9.0Mbps

Broadband speeds increased in the first half of 2012, and in May 2012 the average overall download speed was 9.0Mbps. This represents a 1.4Mbps rise from the 7.6Mbps figure revealed in the previous survey taken in November 2011.

Speeds on ADSL2+ (non-fibre broadband) lines jumped to 5.6Mbps from 5.3Mbps with O2 Broadband providing the fastest speeds overall.

Takeup of faster FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) services have contributed to the rise in speed as more customers move away from older copper-based ADSL2+ lines to new fibre-based lines.

Virgin Media’s speed boost upgrades have seen the average speeds of residential fibre broadband increase to 17.9Mbps. This is up from 14.3Mbps recorded in the last survey, representing a 3.6Mbps rise overall.

The overall average speed for FTTC fibre broadband lines (residential and business) was 31.6Mbps – representing an overall dip. This has been attributed to rollout of BT Infinity and teething problems with the BT Home Hub routers as well the nature of BT’s FTTC broadband.

As is the speed declines as the length of the copper cable increases, average FTTC speeds are likely to fall slightly as roll-out reaches more rural areas.


UK Average Broadband Speeds: Are we getting the full picture?

Due to Ofcom’s sampling methodology, we don’t get to see speeds from Hyperoptic and the Digital Region ISPs in South Yorkshire included in the results. Due mainly to the number of subscribers not being enough to provide data, smaller service providers aren’t included.

So while Ofcom’s regular reports are good for getting an overview of the state of Broadband in the UK, they don’t provide the entire picture. As other fibre-based ISPs and networks increase their subscriber bases we should see them included in future reports. 

You can check your current speed, to compare your line to OFCOM’s data, with our broadband speed test tool.

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