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Gap between actual and advertised broadband speed widens

Gap between actual and advertised broadband speed widens

The average broadband speed in the UK has actually increased by 10 per cent since the end of 2010

Ofcom has reported mixed findings in its latest survey of UK broadband speeds.

In the article on its website, Ofcom stated that the average broadband speed in the UK increased by a sizeable 10 per cent in the six months leading up to May 2011, rising from 6.2Mb/s in November 2010, to 6.8Mb/s two months ago.

It also reported a five per cent rise in the uptake of packages claiming speeds above 10Mb/s. However, it's the usual story we've come to expect that speeds advertised by ISPs are still much higher than those consumers are seeing at home.

Ofcom states that this gap has actually widened; the average advertised speed in May 2011 of 15Mb/s was 8.2Mb/s higher than the average with that number rising from 7.6Mb/s at the end of last year.

The report comes on the day that Ofcom's new revised Code of Practice regarding Internet speed comes into effect. According to Ofcom, the key changes will mean:
  • Instead of receiving a single point estimate of the maximum speed on their line, consumers will be given a speed range (based on customers with similar line lengths) which is more likely to be accurate than a single point

  • A new option for customers to leave their provider without penalty if they receive a maximum line speed which is significantly lower than the bottom of the estimated range, and ISPs are not able to resolve the problem. Customers would be able to leave within the first three months of their contract.

The revised code has already been implemented by several ISPs, including Virgin Media, BT Broadband and O2.

Let us know your thoughts in the forum.

45 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
TheLegendJoe 27th July 2011, 11:18 Quote
48-51Mbp/s on my 50Mb package, Virgin [f][t][w] ;)
RichCreedy 27th July 2011, 11:22 Quote
it sucks living in lincolnshire, my town hasn't made it to 20Mb yet, and as they are rolling out infinity, which we aren't even on the roadmap for, we wont ever get that speed until infinity comes, probably around 2020 for us
lp1988 27th July 2011, 11:42 Quote
This is why we are using fiberwire, 10/10 Mbps advertised. 15/20 Mbps actual last I tested. XD
MrJay 27th July 2011, 12:07 Quote
Location: Isle of Wight
ISP: Sky
Advertised Speed: 20mbps
What i get: 15mbps

Close enough for me : )
proxess 27th July 2011, 12:07 Quote
Portugal <3. 100Mbit Down / 20Mbit Up. Tested, obtained.
kosch 27th July 2011, 12:21 Quote
I'm lucky to get 4.8mbps living in a town on an estate, a few country villages along they are lucky to get 1.0/2.1 mbps!
mpr 27th July 2011, 12:23 Quote
Location : Huntingdon (about 1 mile from the main transfer box)
ISP : BT
Advertised Package: 25 (could be 20)mbps

Unfortunately I'm lucky to get 340kbs usually more like 100kbs

Fibre will be available in the next year or so via Sky and Cable via Virgin (a few years longer), sadly I won't be here to reap the benefits.
oatey4519 27th July 2011, 12:25 Quote
Sky: 20mb Advertised
Actual: 19mb - very happy with that.

Location: Flatland Fens
xaser04 27th July 2011, 12:27 Quote
Location: Yeovil, Somerset
ISP: Talk Talk Unlimited
Advertised Speed: Up to 20Mb
Actual Speed: 6-8Mbit.

Despite a much lower than advertised peak speed I am not too bothered as our lines are known to be rubbish. When we get the chance of cable I will be jumping on that.
geoboy333 27th July 2011, 12:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLegendJoe
48-51Mbp/s on my 50Mb package, Virgin ftw ;)

Virgin FTW? My family have been with virgin for years and we've had nothing but trouble from them. they are constantly throttling our speed down as soon as anyone starts to do anything!

We are paying for the 20MB package, in truth we get 10 percent of that, last time i checked we get something between 2-8MB.

We are honestly biding our time until another provider starts giving affordable fibre broadband and then we are switching.
scuppy 27th July 2011, 12:39 Quote
still stuck with 1Mbit downspeed in my village :(
Edwards 27th July 2011, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoboy333
Virgin FTW? My family have been with virgin for years and we've had nothing but trouble from them. they are constantly throttling our speed down as soon as anyone starts to do anything!

We are paying for the 20MB package, in truth we get 10 percent of that, last time i checked we get something between 2-8MB.

We are honestly biding our time until another provider starts giving affordable fibre broadband and then we are switching.

Virgin ftw. I regularly get downloads at 5.8-6.0MBps on my 50mbps line.
B1GBUD 27th July 2011, 12:43 Quote
Another happy VM 50Mb customer here..... Geoboy333, do you get fibre or ADSL?
Almightyrastus 27th July 2011, 12:48 Quote
Ours normally hovers around the 31 meg mark on a 30 meg Virgin line with about 3 meg upload as well. Sooo much better than the BT line we had which was supposed to be anything from 8 to 20 depending on who you asked and we would often see speed of between 0.3 and 6...
Dwarfer 27th July 2011, 12:49 Quote
Virgin 50Mb Advertised

Usually download at just over 6MB/sec

Upload is between 3-5MB/sec
javaman 27th July 2011, 12:53 Quote
A happy BT customer. Haven't had any problems with them compared to neighbors that are with talk talk, orange and virgin. Both Talk talk and Orange suck (promised around 6Mpbs and they got >1Mbps with the Orange service constantly dropping. Virgin I think was a dodgy installition with the router not working, a problem with the line and just taking ages to fix but now that its up and running they're very happy with it but it is well below the rated speed.
My BT line has dropped from 6Mbps (I have seen it at 12Mbps around 2am) to 3.26Mbps tho im putting that down to kids being afraid of the sun and playing consoles.
TheLegendJoe 27th July 2011, 13:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoboy333
Virgin [F][T][W]? My family have been with virgin for years and we've had nothing but trouble from them. they are constantly throttling our speed down as soon as anyone starts to do anything!

We are paying for the 20MB package, in truth we get 10 percent of that, last time i checked we get something between 2-8MB.

We are honestly biding our time until another provider starts giving affordable fibre broadband and then we are switching.

We're on fibre so that might be why, and they only throttle Torrent uploads (to 500Kbp/s so it takes a while to get a good seed ratio) due to being on the L package.
wuyanxu 27th July 2011, 13:18 Quote
O2 quoted:
On this number you'll get a download speed of around 5.5 meg.

and my parents get around that speed. so their tool is pretty good.

all providers should have similar tool. up to 20Mbps means nothing.
Bloody_Pete 27th July 2011, 13:21 Quote
80Mb/s on my '50Mb/s' connection :P And next year we go 100Mb/s here, so I should get 150Mb/s ish...

P.S. I still have the record for home internet connection speed...
Teelzebub 27th July 2011, 13:27 Quote
On plusnet with a BT wet string line max 7MB getting 6.4MB no throttling at anytime
sp4nky 27th July 2011, 13:28 Quote
I like cheesecake and with Virgin, I can get as many pictures or videos of cheesecake as I like. I'm paying for 30 Mbps and last night I downloaded two iPlayer videos at a combined rate of between 28 and 31 Mbps.

Without using cliches, Virgin does exactly what it says on the... err.. advert.

Except I've started getting huge latency problems on WoW in the evenings. Can still download videos at ~30 Mbps but can't do MMOs :(
Cerberus90 27th July 2011, 13:29 Quote
Location: Leicestershire
ISP: TalkTalk
Advertised : Up to 20Mb/s (they told us to expect 2Mb/s when we signed up)
Actual Speed : 300KB/s (or whatever it is, :D) So that's around 2.5Mb/s I think.
Woodspoon 27th July 2011, 13:31 Quote
Virgin Cable FTW!

advertised: 30mb
actual: 29mb
location: essex
borandi 27th July 2011, 13:44 Quote
BT. 20 Mbps down, 1.5 Mbps up. End up get ting 12 Mbps down, 1Mbps up. If they think you're excessively using (>50GB/mo from torrents), they throttle your connection to half for the next 30 days. Really annoys me when that happens as it has trouble with iPlayer in HD at that speed.

Central Oxford, but no plans for super Virgin speeds here. :(
derpooch 27th July 2011, 13:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
it sucks living in lincolnshire, my town hasn't made it to 20Mb yet, and as they are rolling out infinity, which we aren't even on the roadmap for, we wont ever get that speed until infinity comes, probably around 2020 for us

I feel your pain! I live out near the Wolds and I get a solid 1.5Mbps! Though according to a survey of my village, the next fastest connection is 0.25, which makes me feel a bit better ...
Phil Rhodes 27th July 2011, 13:50 Quote
Eclipse.

Promised 40 down, 2 up. Speedtest.net tells me I get 35 down and 1 up, at least to Kent.

Less impressively, I get 6 down and 0.3 up to Los Angeles.

Numbers to the exchange are easy. Actually connecting you to somewhere useful is harder.
r3loaded 27th July 2011, 14:37 Quote
I'm on Virgin Media 10mbit, and I get 10mbit down, 1mbit up so exactly what it says on the tin. I don't get any slowdowns or throttling, even in the evenings so it must depend on which UBR you're on (Stretford for me).

I'm hoping to upgrade to 30mbit as soon as they release the bridge mode firmware for the Superhub.
Jqim 27th July 2011, 15:33 Quote
its all about the 'Traffic management' policy. 50m speed is meaningless if you cant stream iplayer HD at peak times.
Jqim 27th July 2011, 15:35 Quote
p.s. im on Be broadband and i measure up at about 18m but when i press play on an online video even at prime times that £$%^ plays mother lovers!
Mizugetsu 27th July 2011, 16:18 Quote
I live in Lincoln. on talk talk though i live about (well i can spit on the exchange) but 20mb advertised and 18mb(ish) actual isn't bad but here's the kicker

Virgin Media will not connect my building because they say it will cost to much yet the green box thing is about 20 yards away and My building when it was rebuilt was wired for DIAMOND CABLE. They say it will cost £20,000 to connect my building to their system and connecting the building will not be financially viable despite the 70(ish) households wanting virgin media services
Waynio 27th July 2011, 17:32 Quote
Went from dial up which was painfully slow so as soon as broadband came about I Started on BT when broadband just started, then went to eclipse because of the stingy FUP BT brought in & then eventually eclipse went all FUP on us, then bethere which was true unlimited but was supposed to be a 25MB/s connection but was 4 to 8MB/s I got annoyed with this recently because the crappy speeds plus the unreliable connection was keeping me offline way too much, to get an ok speed of 8MB/s I had to plug the modem straight to the test socket & configure the bethere website to run on high speed, they have a few choices gaming mode on/off, high speed, normal & reliable & had to keep it on reliable which gave 4MB/s if not plugged into the test socket, plugged into the test socket I got 6MB/s.

So after finding out the unlimited usage had been lifted from BT at last I jumped at the chance to switch back to BT for the fibre optic broadband & it rocks :D, had a hiccup from the engineer they sent to do it though, he unplugged the phone extensions so had to mess around on the phone to the foreign support which creates more misscommunications all around but got there eventually after many calls & they sent a permanent engineer around to fix it & he said for all the temp or agency engineers they send out they have to get a perm engineer out to clean up after them :D.

Enough blah, this is my readings for how mine is now & I'm impressed for once I'm getting more than they said I'd get, they said I'd get 32MB/s but this is nice as I'm getting more .
http://www.speedtest.net/result/1404731455.png
http://www.pingtest.net/result/44275240.png
delriogw 27th July 2011, 18:46 Quote
http://www.speedtest.net/result/1404872254.png

i hate you all

in fairness, when we joined our ISP we were only promised 0.5mb, but it does still feel like being shafted somewhat.

basically, they have an exchange in the town where i live, it's towards the south of the town. they built several thousand new homes on the north side of the town. all these homes are serviced by the old exchange.

what's even more annoying is when the houses were built the cabling for NTL (as it was then) was all laid down, all the houses have the box, and NTL was present in the town. for 3 years we had no broadband up here atall, yet they made no effort to extend, and still haven't so we're limited to crappy services with crappy speeds from an exchange that's just too far away.

suffice to say i want to punch my friends when they complain they're only getting 10mb.
Hazchem 27th July 2011, 19:14 Quote
I think what's worse is the places offering "unlimited" bandwidth but when you actually read the fine print you get only 1 GB per month. It's downright insulting.
sp4nky 27th July 2011, 19:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazchem
I think what's worse is the places offering "unlimited" bandwidth but when you actually read the fine print you get only 1 GB per month. It's downright insulting.

Along the same lines, I saw an advert today for Sky's "unlimited" broadband, truly unlimited they say. They also say it's "up to 20Mb", which strikes me as a limit.
Clesm 27th July 2011, 19:58 Quote
0.8Mb in the sticks
mamac123 28th July 2011, 00:30 Quote
20mb i get 19 virgin media 4TW
leslie 28th July 2011, 00:58 Quote
We just switched to cable from DSl.

DSL...
We paid for 10, but were told to expect under 8 due to distance, 4-10meg was the same price. We got 6.

Cable... (Which cost half as much...)
We pay for 16 and in off hours we get 32, during peak it can slow to 15 or so, which is still great for the area.
thehippoz 28th July 2011, 02:19 Quote
yeah dsl speed is restricted to how far you are from the central office.. so it can vary

if your way out you can still get 3 down- but it could vary on the very end to around 2.6

but if your on the end and buy the cheaper package.. 1.5, you should get 1.5

it's a lottery really.. depending on where the switcher station is at
Hashime 28th July 2011, 03:09 Quote
Ontario Canada, Cogeco: Pay (obscene amount) for 20, get 1 to 2 max. We are also capped at 60 Gb per month and are "traffic shaped". Cogeco is also one of the best cable internet companies around. My buddies with rogers have to suffer through "deep packet inspection" and 20Gb per month limits. There is also no unlimited packages in my province.
KayinBlack 28th July 2011, 04:37 Quote
Pah, I have a 10GB/mo limit, and going over can easily cost triple digits. Two miles outside of the city limits.
MSHunter 28th July 2011, 07:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoboy333
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLegendJoe
48-51Mbp/s on my 50Mb package, Virgin ftw ;)

Virgin FTW? My family have been with virgin for years and we've had nothing but trouble from them. they are constantly throttling our speed down as soon as anyone starts to do anything!

We are paying for the 20MB package, in truth we get 10 percent of that, last time i checked we get something between 2-8MB.

We are honestly biding our time until another provider starts giving affordable fibre broadband and then we are switching.

Dont wait call them and get it sorted. There are a bunch of setting that can improve your speed. I had a problem when moving where I went from a 50 mb line to a 100 mb and was getting less Bandwidth then before. Called them got sent to the techies and after some diver updates to my LAN chip and router setting im always over 70 mb.
tyepye 28th July 2011, 10:07 Quote
Location: Ely, Cambs
ISP: Talk Talk
Advertised Speed: 24mbps
What i get: 7-8mbps

Sucks that it's so low compared with the advertised speed, but I think it is due to being 1 mile from the exchange.
impar 28th July 2011, 10:14 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
Portugal <3. 100Mbit Down / 20Mbit Up. Tested, obtained.
Meo Fibra?

I pay for 12Mb\1Mb and have 30Mb\3Mb, unlimited traffic.
azazel1024 28th July 2011, 15:25 Quote
I used to have that issue with Comcast here in the States. I forget what my quoted speed was, but I think it was around 10Mbps down and I'd receive anything from 2-5Mbps on average from high speed servers. At best off peak I ever saw was about 8.5Mbps, I never once hit 10Mbps. That was in my old apartment. In my house we had 15Mbps service and real world speeds were never much faster than my old apartment. I think a handful of times in speed tests and high speed servers I was a hair over 10Mbps a few times.

With Verizon FIOS (to toot their horn) I regularly get above listed speed. Its 25/10 service (I think it is 10 up, but I haven't really tested what I can get) and I regularly get almost 30Mbps down from fast servers (3.69MB/sec is the cap I see all the time from fast servers, or 29.5Mbps). It is very, very nice. Extremely low latency as well. They have 50/50 service, but I don't want to pay for it. 25/10 is way more than enough for me, thank you.

Now if I was running a VPN to an offsite location I'd probably want it for offsite data backups, but since (for now) all of my backups are local, my LAN speed is all that matters past a certain minimum, which for me is 2MB/sec down and 1MB/sec up. More is nice of course, I just am not willing to pay more for that.
SolidShot 29th July 2011, 13:48 Quote
Winchester Hampshire.

We can get up 1mb/s

We get 104 kbs. FML.
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