A new report from telecoms regulator Ofcom has found that the proportion of superfast connections in the UK has risen from 5% in November 2011 to 25% in November 2013. Further to that, the speed of the average superfast connection continues to rise, with many now enjoying speeds of around 47 Mbit/s.
The report is the latest on measuring actual consumer broadband speeds, rather than those advertised and looked at ADSL broadband as well as superfast. It was found that on average, UK residential broadband speeds have risen by almost five times over the past five years.
However, the report also pointed out that whilst speeds are generally on the rise, "the UK picture is uneven” as many households experience "considerably slower speeds”, especially those in rural areas.
On average, those in rural areas see speeds of around 11.3 Mbit/s, Ofcom said, but the sample size studied for the report from which the averages were taken was too small for the regulator for changes in rural broadband speed "to be deemed statistically significant”.
Ofcom Chief Executive, Ed Richards said: "The growth in superfast broadband and the rise in average speeds is testament to the investment in the sector. But the benefits are not shared evenly across the UK. There is more work needed to deliver wider availability of broadband and superfast broadband, particularly in rural communities but also in some locations within cities to enable wider access to fast internet.”
Virgin Media achieved the fasted superfast broadband speeds when tested over a 24 hour period, with speeds averaging 114.9 Mbit/s on the company’s ‘up to’ 120 Mbit/s service. This was followed by BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Sky and EE, all of which delivered average download speeds of 64.8 Mbit/s.
Ofcom also looked at the reliability of the main ISPs and it was found that at peak times, speeds varied significantly between providers. Between 8pm to 10pm average speeds ranged from 86% to 96% of maximum speeds at other times of the day.
The research was conducted during November last year and measured 735m test results recorded in 2391 UK homes and was carried out in conjunction with broadband monitoring company SamKnows .