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”.
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.”