Gap between actual and advertised broadband speed widens

Written by Antony Leather

July 27, 2011 | 11:12

Tags: #fibre-optic

Companies: #ofcom

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.

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