The speed test results for September 2015 are in and speeds appear to have dipped for a good number of providers, though the overall UK picture shows a slight rise after a couple of months of dips. It is not easy to tell if this the actual user experience overall or whether we are seeing a shift in the demographics of those testing or possible a shift in what packages people are actually buying.
One theory for the decline in FTTC service speeds is that as the monthly cost decreases more people are upgrading even though they will not see the best speeds from FTTC or maybe are just opting for cheaper up to 38 Mbps rather than the premium up to 76 Mbps. To look at this aspect we will blog in more detail about speed profiles later in October.
One aspect that is changing is we are seeing more mobile, tablet and other devices testing and this means the negative effects of Wi-Fi on speeds will be having a greater effect. Given the growth in actual Internet use on these devices we believe it is fair to include these devices in the overall results, at the end of this figure laden article we do show some data on the differences between devices.
|Large Provider Fibre Based Connection Speed Tests September 2015|
|Provider||Median Download||Mean Download||Median Upload||Mean Upload|
|FTTC Overall (excludes Virgin Media)||25.5 Mbps||27 Mbps||7.7 Mbps||8.4 Mbps|
|BT||28.4 Mbps||29.6 Mbps||8.5 Mbps||8.9 Mbps|
|Plusnet||30.8 Mbps||31.4 Mbps||9.1 Mbps||9.9 Mbps|
|Sky||21.4 Mbps||21.9 Mbps||7.3 Mbps||6.7 Mbps|
|TalkTalk||25.1 Mbps||25.8 Mbps||2 Mbps||4.6 Mbps|
|Virgin Media||39.8 Mbps||46.9 Mbps||5.1 Mbps||6.2 Mbps|
|ADSL/ADSL2+ Connection Speed Tests September 2015|
|Provider/Area||Median Download||Mean Download||Median Upload||Mean Upload|
|All Providers||4.9 Mbps||6.2 Mbps||0.8 Mbps||0.7 Mbps|
|BT||4.1 Mbps||5.6 Mbps||0.7 Mbps||0.7 Mbps|
|Plusnet||5 Mbps||6.2 Mbps||0.7 Mbps||0.7 Mbps|
|Sky||4.7 Mbps||6.1 Mbps||0.8 Mbps||0.7 Mbps|
|TalkTalk||5.2 Mbps||6.3 Mbps||0.7 Mbps||0.7 Mbps|
|Rural ADSL||3.1 Mbps||3.9 Mbps||0.4 Mbps||0.5 Mbps|
The ADSL/ADSL2 services show the biggest change in the upload side, for BT and PlusNet this might be the result of the continuing roll-out of WBC ADSL2+ which is starting to become more available in areas such as the Highlands.
September was the first full month for tracking the new Vodafone Connect service and it sits pretty high up the table, and is a result of not having a legacy user base of ADSL/ADSL2+ customers, the profile of testers suggests three quarters are signing up to the FTTC services with perhaps 1 in 10 on the fastest up to 76 Mbps product.
|The 20 Fastest UK Broadband Providers in September 2015
(ordered by median speed)
Smaller providers without enough geographic data samples are not included
|Provider||Median Download||Mean Download||Median Upload||Mean Upload||Download Speed of top 10%|
|Hyperoptic||66.6 Mbps||127 Mbps||48.8 Mbps||103.6 Mbps||398 Mbps|
|Virgin Media||41.4 Mbps||47.9 Mbps||5.1 Mbps||6.2 Mbps||100.7 Mbps|
|FastNet||22.2 Mbps||26.6 Mbps||7.7 Mbps||9.4 Mbps||51.3 Mbps|
|Vodafone Connect||20.7 Mbps||24.1 Mbps||8.7 Mbps||8.4 Mbps||42.6 Mbps|
|IDNet||18.9 Mbps||27.8 Mbps||4.5 Mbps||6.6 Mbps||67.4 Mbps|
|Relish||18.1 Mbps||18.5 Mbps||2.6 Mbps||3.3 Mbps||38.7 Mbps|
|AAISP||16.3 Mbps||28.4 Mbps||2.2 Mbps||6.2 Mbps||69.9 Mbps|
|Claranet SOHO||15.3 Mbps||25 Mbps||1.9 Mbps||11.9 Mbps||64.7 Mbps|
|EE Mobile||14.5 Mbps||18.2 Mbps||2.1 Mbps||5.3 Mbps||40 Mbps|
|XILO Communications||14.1 Mbps||25.4 Mbps||1.2 Mbps||7.4 Mbps||71.4 Mbps|
|BT||13.5 Mbps||19.6 Mbps||2.6 Mbps||5.4 Mbps||42.2 Mbps|
|Zen Internet||13.1 Mbps||22.1 Mbps||1.4 Mbps||6.7 Mbps||59.8 Mbps|
|Vodafone Mobile||10.8 Mbps||15.2 Mbps||2.5 Mbps||4.6 Mbps||36.2 Mbps|
|Entanet||10.5 Mbps||24.1 Mbps||1.6 Mbps||10.6 Mbps||63.1 Mbps|
|Plusnet||10.4 Mbps||17.8 Mbps||1.1 Mbps||4.9 Mbps||43.1 Mbps|
|Daisy||9.6 Mbps||17.3 Mbps||2.8 Mbps||6.3 Mbps||43.3 Mbps|
|Sky||8.4 Mbps||12.5 Mbps||1.1 Mbps||3.2 Mbps||30.5 Mbps|
|KC||7.7 Mbps||21.4 Mbps||0.8 Mbps||5.6 Mbps||61.6 Mbps|
|Tooway Direct||7.6 Mbps||8.7 Mbps||0.4 Mbps||0.6 Mbps||15.4 Mbps|
|TalkTalk||7.1 Mbps||12.6 Mbps||0.9 Mbps||1.9 Mbps||34 Mbps|
Providers not making the top twenty this month with their median download speeds are EE 6.2 Mbps, Three 5.9 Mbps, 02 Mobile 5.5 Mbps, Eclipse 5.1 Mbps, Demon 4.8 Mbps, BT WiFi 3.8 Mbps and Post Office 2.6 Mbps.
|Comparison of different hardware and its effect on speed test
Median download speed
|All Providers||14.2 Mbps||10.5 Mbps||11.6 Mbps|
|BT||14.4 Mbps||11.1 Mbps||14.2 Mbps|
|Plusnet||11.7 Mbps||7.8 Mbps||9.0 Mbps|
|Sky||9.3 Mbps||8.2 Mbps||8.0 Mbps|
|TalkTalk||7.7 Mbps||6.9 Mbps||7.5 Mbps|
|Virgin Media||44.6 Mbps||27.7 Mbps||33.7 Mbps|
Looking at the overall picture, 65.5% of tests were carried out on a desktop/laptop, 16.8% on tablets and 17.7% on mobile phones. What is interesting is when we audit testing every day, we do see phones and tablets getting maximum speeds for FTTC and cable services so the fact the overall result is lower points to the problems and variability of Wi-Fi. Given the large amount of handheld device web browsing that goes on in 2015 excluding those devices from speed tests would remove the experience that one third of the population undergo.
If one was to try and pin down how fast broadband was in the UK on average the mean figure for desktop/laptop connections gives a mean download speed of 24.8 Mbps (5.7 Mbps upload) for September 2015. For those doubting the figures the speed profiles are available download and upload, the profiles illustrate nicely the various maximum speed points for the various products.