Ofcom Research Reveals Faster Broadband Speeds

News Article - Wednesday, 15 August 2012 13:57

By: Kerry Butters Category: Connectivity

New research carried out by telecoms regulatory body Ofcom has revealed that the government initiative to get superfast broadband to every area by 2015 has already resulted in faster speeds for consumers, due to network upgrades that have been carried out across the UK.

On average, consumers are now enjoying speeds of 9.0Mbps, which is more than twice that than the average home was receiving in 2008, when Ofcom first began researching internet speeds.

Whilst some of the data relates to the take-up of superfast broadband, it seems that even those who don’t are benefitting from an increase in speed as ISPs’ perform network upgrades to accommodate superfast broadband.

The launch of Virgin Medias "up to” 60Mps and BT Infinity 2’s "up to” 76Mbps have contributed to faster speeds across the board and according to Ofcom: "The continuing trend of increasing speeds recorded in the research confirms that consumer migration to faster services is gathering momentum”.

When it comes to the different type of technologies used in broadband connectivity, the study found that cable generated the greatest speed increases, "up by 3.6Mbit/s (26%) to 17.9Mbit/s”, whilst ADSL "increased by 10%, from 5.3Mbit/s to 5.9Mbit/s”.

However, average speeds for fibre to the cabinet connections (FTTC) fell slightly by 12% in the first six months of the year.

Of the two fast broadband suppliers, Virgin and BT Infinity, during peak times customers experienced a drop "of less than 90% of their average maximum speed” with Virgin when compared to BT, although when the "range of two operators overlap, than these operators offer comparable performances”.

Due to changes in regulations regarding the way that ISPs’ advertise speeds, it’s now possible for customers to leave a provider within three months if they are not reaching satisfactory, or as-advertised speeds.

Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: "Our research shows that the move to faster broadband services is gathering momentum. Consumers are benefitting from network upgrades and the launch of new superfast packages, giving them faster speeds and greater choice.

"We are continuing to work with the advertising code-writing bodies and ISPs to ensure that speeds advertised reflect actual speeds experienced, to allow consumers the ability to make informed decisions when shopping around to find the most suitable package.”

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