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Top 10 Fastest Broadband ISPs for December 2003
Friday 09 January 2004 13:07:00 by Sebastien Lahtinen

Eclipse has maintained its top position on the December speed test results beating both Zen and Nildram, although the gap between the top three is closing as Eclipse's speed falls by 2.5 Kbps and Nildram in third position catches up by 0.5 Kbps. The difference between the top three is only 5.1 Kbps, a mere 1% of the speeds being measured with the top ten only being separated by 5-6%:

Rank

ISP

Downstream

Upstream

Total

1 Eclipse Internet 450.9 Kbps 237.8 Kbps 2357
2 Zen Internet 448.6 Kbps 234.2 Kbps 1622
3 Nildram 445.8 Kbps 236.1 Kbps 1947
4 Freedom 2 Surf PLC 440.3 Kbps 233.3 Kbps 993
5 PIPEX Internet Limited 439.2 Kbps 232.7 Kbps 5245
6 PlusNet 437.5 Kbps 235.3 Kbps 1898
7 Virgin.net 434.8 Kbps 235.3 Kbps 2442
8 Demon 430.6 Kbps 228.8 Kbps 785
9 Freeserve 426.9 Kbps 234.1 Kbps 2661
10 BT Openworld / Yahoo BB! 422.5 Kbps 230.0 Kbps 4301

Except for Freedom 2 Surf which has climbed from sixth position into fourth by increasing its download speeds by almost 7 Kbps, and a swap in positions between BT Openworld and BT Broadband, the ranking in the top ten has not changed from November.

In December, BT Openworld improved its position over BT Broadband which was left in eleventh position at 419.7 Kbps (downstream) and 229.9 Kbps (upstream). We are working with BT to try and identify the cause of the recent falls in speed test results.

The average downstream speed within the top-10 rose by just over 1 Kbps to 437.71 Kbps matched by a slightly greater increase in upstream speed to 233.76 Kbps. The number of speed test results in the top ten (which cover approx 70% of all tests) fell from 27,803 to 24,251 which is not surprising as most users spent time away from their computer during the Christmas break.

As always, we would like to remind readers that this table only shows providers who have attained the minimum number of confirmed tests and therefore is likely to exclude smaller providers as it is difficult to get enough samples to provide valid results. Also, you should remember it measures 512 Kbps services and does not include tests for 600 Kbps, 1 Mbps and faster services that are available as we do not yet have enough samples on these services. We would also stress that users should not pick an ISP solely on the basis of a speed test results but consider all the requirements you have of an ISP. To view the list of previous months' results, click here. You may also find our "So what do you think" feature on ISP ratings a couple of months ago useful [seb]

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