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Broadband speed test results for November 2015
Tuesday 01 December 2015 18:28:35 by Andrew Ferguson

Hyperoptic regained its position at the top of the top twenty provider table and going forward we expect these two providers to continue to dominate for some time. Virgin Media while it has the potential to beat the FTTH providers in terms of median speeds while we see around 1.5% on the up to 200 Mbps service this is not enough to negate the popularity of the low cost options and the drop in speed between peak and off-peak times.

Large Provider Fibre Based Connection Speed Tests November 2015
Provider Median Download Mean Download Median Upload Mean Upload
FTTC Overall (excludes Virgin Media) 27.5 Mbps 29 Mbps 6.9 Mbps 7.8 Mbps
BT 30.5 Mbps 31.7 Mbps 8.3 Mbps 8.7 Mbps
EE 25.8 Mbps 25.9 Mbps 7.8 Mbps 7.2 Mbps
Plusnet 31.1 Mbps 31.9 Mbps 7.8 Mbps 8.9 Mbps
Sky 23.8 Mbps 23.9 Mbps 7 Mbps 6.7 Mbps
TalkTalk 27.3 Mbps 28.2 Mbps 1.8 Mbps 4.4 Mbps
Virgin Media 41.5 Mbps 49.8 Mbps 4.8 Mbps 5.8 Mbps

Plusnet is continuing to show its upload figures decrease driven by the adoption of the up to 2 Mbps upload FTTC service rather than the up to 20 Mbps service they sold for some time. We have added EE this month to the technology splits, and Vodafone is almost there with just a small amount of growth we expect to be including them in the fibre based connection table when we publish the December results.

We have seen some use the FTTC speeds for the various providers to support the hypothesis that fibre to the cabinet is not delivering superfast speeds, but as two very different speed packages are available with a £5 to £15 per month difference in the price we see lots opting for the service that is capped at a download speed of 38 Mbps irrespective of what their line will support. This speed choice split is the big reason why Sky and TalkTalk are slower than BT for the FTTC services, i.e. higher price and often the product is harder to find and order.

ADSL/ADSL2+ Connection Speed Tests November 2015
Provider/Area Median Download Mean Download Median Upload Mean Upload
All Providers 5 Mbps 6.2 Mbps 0.6 Mbps 0.6 Mbps
BT 4.2 Mbps 5.6 Mbps 0.4 Mbps 0.5 Mbps
EE 4.2 Mbps 5.7 Mbps 0.7 Mbps 0.6 Mbps
Plusnet 4.9 Mbps 6 Mbps 0.5 Mbps 0.5 Mbps
Sky 5 Mbps 6.3 Mbps 0.6 Mbps 0.6 Mbps
TalkTalk 5.3 Mbps 6.4 Mbps 0.6 Mbps 0.6 Mbps
Rural ADSL 3.3 Mbps 4.1 Mbps 0.3 Mbps 0.4 Mbps

The difference between FTTC based services and ADSL ones is very clear to see and while not everyone will see their speeds increase by a similar scale to our median and mean results it is clear that FTTC is delivering significant speed improvements for many people.

The 20 Fastest UK Broadband Providers in November 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 46.6 Mbps 88.2 Mbps 36.7 Mbps 77.1 Mbps 252 Mbps
Gigaclear 43.7 Mbps 72 Mbps 32.4 Mbps 78.6 Mbps 154 Mbps
Virgin Media 41.5 Mbps 49.8 Mbps 4.8 Mbps 5.8 Mbps 105.2 Mbps
Vodafone Broadband 20.6 Mbps 24.2 Mbps 6.2 Mbps 7.3 Mbps 50.3 Mbps
AAISP 14.5 Mbps 29.8 Mbps 1.9 Mbps 6 Mbps 71.2 Mbps
Zen Internet 13.9 Mbps 23.8 Mbps 1.1 Mbps 6.3 Mbps 64.6 Mbps
Tooway Direct 13.3 Mbps 12.5 Mbps 0.1 Mbps 0.2 Mbps 19 Mbps
BT 13.2 Mbps 19.2 Mbps 1.4 Mbps 4.8 Mbps 40.8 Mbps
ASK4 12.9 Mbps 27.5 Mbps 2.8 Mbps 8.4 Mbps 61 Mbps
EE Mobile 12.8 Mbps 18.3 Mbps 1.4 Mbps 4.2 Mbps 40.3 Mbps
XILO Communications 11.6 Mbps 21.5 Mbps 0.8 Mbps 5.6 Mbps 56.6 Mbps
Relish 11.6 Mbps 14.7 Mbps 1.5 Mbps 2 Mbps 33.9 Mbps
Quickline 10.6 Mbps 12.3 Mbps 2.6 Mbps 4.9 Mbps 21.6 Mbps
Vodafone Mobile 9.7 Mbps 14.3 Mbps 1.3 Mbps 3.1 Mbps 32.3 Mbps
Daisy Wholesale 9.6 Mbps 18.7 Mbps 0.9 Mbps 6 Mbps 51.2 Mbps
IDNet 9.2 Mbps 19.6 Mbps 0.8 Mbps 5.3 Mbps 61.8 Mbps
Timico 9 Mbps 15.8 Mbps 0.7 Mbps 3.5 Mbps 38 Mbps
Claranet SOHO 8.6 Mbps 33 Mbps 0.9 Mbps 10.2 Mbps 90.6 Mbps
Plusnet 8.6 Mbps 16.1 Mbps 0.8 Mbps 3.9 Mbps 38.1 Mbps
Entanet 7.9 Mbps 22.3 Mbps 0.9 Mbps 8.8 Mbps 70.1 Mbps

The providers not making the top twenty this month include Sky (7.9 Mbps), O2 Mobile (7.2 Mbps), TalkTalk (7 Mbps), KC (6.8 Mbps), Three (6.7 Mbps), EE (6 Mbps), Eclipse 5.5 Mbps, Demon 5.3 Mbps, BT WiFi 4.3 Mbps, Supanet 2.8 Mbps and Post Office (2.2 Mbps).

The rise of the Tooway Direct satellite broadband service to so high in the table will surprise some, but a look at the upload speeds measured shows that satellite still has some way to go and that is before we mention to the 1000ms to 1500ms tests over a satellite broadband connection experience. Relish who are planning a fixed wireless roll-out to provider superfast broadband in Swindon have more work to do as they are currently behind EE Mobile so once the Swindon roll-out delivers in volume we will see how much difference an external fixed antenna makes to their service, compared to the indoor routers using in the London roll-out.

Comparison of different hardware and its effect on speed test results - November 2015
Median download speed
Provider Desktop/Laptop    
  Lower Quartile Median Upper Quartile Tablet Median Mobile Phone Median
All Providers 4.6 Mbps 13.8 Mbps 35.5 Mbps 11 Mbps 11.7 Mbps
BT 4.1 Mbps 13.8 Mbps 33.7 Mbps 11.9 Mbps 13.5 Mbps
Plusnet 3.8 Mbps 9.8 Mbps 27.6 Mbps 7.5 Mbps 7.4 Mbps
Sky 3.6 Mbps 9 Mbps 19.2 Mbps 7.9 Mbps 7.8 Mbps
TalkTalk 3.6 Mbps 7.5 Mbps 17.7 Mbps 6.9 Mbps 7.8 Mbps
Virgin Media 21.4 Mbps 45 Mbps 72.9 Mbps 31.4 Mbps 37.1 Mbps

When splitting out the speed test results based on the type of device we have included the lower and upper quartile speeds for the PC based devices. What is interesting to see is that even though both BT and Virgin Media supply dual-band wireless routers and Virgin Media shows people can get fast speeds over Wi-Fi (we do actually see those with perfect Wi-Fi setups testing at maximum speeds of 200 to 300 Mbps) though invariably the speed is not as stable as Ethernet connected devices even during the short time frame of our tests.


Posted by chilting 11 months ago
The real standout figures here are the Tooway Direct upload results. They just underline what a poor option Satellite is for the final 5% especially as the latency is so poor.
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Broadband Watchers
Glad to see BT and Plusnet are above the EU target (30 meg) and it is a mean reading in the FTTC section this time last year 22 meg from my records.
Posted by gerarda 11 months ago

I think those upload speeds might be a factor in why the satellite option has not yet been officially announced. I doubt if there has been much favourable feedback from the trials.
Posted by chilting 11 months ago
Logic says you are 100% correct, but with Whitehall and the EU involved anything could still happen!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
@blackmamba no reason TalkTalk and Sky should not be above 30 Mbps, other than lack of take-up for the up to 76 Mbps product.

You will find profiles from October in our twitter media section.
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Chi.
In Plastow Exchange WS area there has been a showing of Tooway Direct with low speeds on a Post Code but a customer on the same post code has taken up the new FTTC service with a much better speed service so it looks like compertion is starting to kick in ,the running cost will tell.
Posted by chilting 11 months ago
One things for sure with the cabinet "floating in the atmosphere" about 300 miles away the postcode makes no difference when it comes to satellite broadband.
Posted by WWWombat 11 months ago
@chilting, @gerarda
Beware of lumping results from one satellite ISP against all satellite services. Capacity will be managed - so other services on the same satellite might be perfect. Other beams on the same satellite can be OK. And other satellites can be OK too.

Avonline currently recommend Avanti in England and Wales because of Tooway overload. But Scotland is fine.

Eutelsat likewise only label Tooway as "ideal" for Scotland. They label SES as "ideal" for England and Wales.
Posted by chilting 11 months ago
Unfortunately the latency problem will always remain regardless of capacity.
Posted by gerarda 11 months ago
@wwwombat perhaps Andrew could supply the average upload for all satellite providers?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
Yes an amazing 0.1 Mbps e.g.
Posted by leexgx 11 months ago
for majority of people the extra £5-10 more for a UpTo 80mb connection is not worth it and a lot of wireless devices can't use more than 25-35mb/s (30-70mb connection) lower is more typical as it depends how close you are to the cab
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
I am glad to see the UK customers are surporting Thinkbroadband maps with a speed test on their post code giving vital information to Ofcom and the LA plus ISP,s and the generial public if they are interested. I have watched the results for many years and there checker is starting to give good results see above.
Posted by PhilCoates 11 months ago
'Avonline currently recommend Avanti in England and Wales because of Tooway overload. But Scotland is fine.'

Can't say I have noticed any improvement from Avonline. I wonder if they swap people over to Avanti on pre-existing contracts or just for new customers?
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Andrews staff.
Very good new format on Thinkbroadband map via checker
Posted by WWWombat 11 months ago
No way around that with geostationary satellites. Even Einstein couldn't beat the speed of light.

Unlikely. You'd need to move the dish
Tooway Ka-sat at 9°E
Avanti Hylas 1 at 34°W
Avanti Hylas 2 at 31°E
SES Astra 2F at 28°E

You'd also likely need a different "STB" for each operator.
Posted by WWWombat 11 months ago
Avanti's lowest packages only have a 0.1Mbps upstream, so it isn't enough to just pick odd samples out of the air.

SES only do 2Mbps upstream, so should be easy to perform meaningful averages.

Tooway has most packages with a 6Mbps upstream, but the cheapest package is only 1Mbps. Hard to create decent averages from that.

When the TBB test graphs show satellite speeds, the lines depict the slow start well. When the average is calculated, does this include the time for the slow start, or does it only depict the speed once the link has "warmed up"?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
Its a median so for most satellite lines it will be a value from once things have settled down.

On the samples - that was just 3 to show what other providers were managing.
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
I think the satellite system will be the last resort to cover the post code/GPS if the location is unable to get over 10 meg so to cover the EU 30 meg down.
I think the EU does not state a up meg target so ideal for a LA pay out.
Posted by chilting 11 months ago
No, there are many more options to be explored before we get to that point.
Satellite broadband simply doesn't deliver an adequate level of service, even for browsing, let alone cloud computing.
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Andrews Staff.
If you have time would you check post code GU8 5UJ in Wormley area as the new results on the checker are not correct. I think the area is covered by fibre to the home please see results on Thinkbroadband maps.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
The checker is perfectly correct

Shows FTTH available and the speed figure is perfectly correct, as the median from 3 tests is exactly what is shown. Median is shown as will reflect what the majority are recording in a postcode.
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Andrews staff.
Thanks for checking but we agree that a customer has fibre to the home on this post code but it shows 0 in the fibre box for West Surrey Section.
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Andrew staff.
This post code has not got access to a FTTC only an old Cab 7 so the tests speeds are split. All the post codes on this Cab are the same covering a large area on long lines.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
@blackmamba On browse tab figure was correct, but second pie chart on search tab had a presentation bug that has just been fixed.

Bug slipped in during the revamp of the local site on Friday.
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Andrews Staff.
Thanks for your work and the updating of the monthly results on post code Gu266HZ and Gu102NZ but the mean figures are to large in a max 100 Mtres of cable in you window of 250 Mtres. I will have to wait untill the mean ( 6 months ) ) results are removed from GU102NZ profile.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
If referring to the postcode search, where we may display two speeds on that is not a mean but a MEDIAN.
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Andrews Staff
Thanks for reply yes I can see that the results ( speeds) have been sorted from high to low so it will be Median.I did take the results daily and they dropped in sequence date between June and July in the 120 day window but results are still in the 180 day window coverage. In a few days I think the Median will start to alter in the next few days. As I stated before there is only aprox 70 Mtres on the cable run. Thanks.
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Andrews Staff.
After the glitch on Friday plus the overwrite it turns out that broadband flow chart works the same as the old TXK exchanges eg Router control is the DLM both gave good and bad data which controlled the status of the line and customer.
The thinkbrooadband data stored over 6 months is the same as the monthly line fault data plus the exchange fault data which was returned monthy. The line fault reports identified the cable runs DP and Cab and customer.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
@blackmamba Your latest post means nothing to me
Posted by michaelkenward 11 months ago
The usual health warning, TalkTalk is fiddling the books by dumping customers on BT-only exchanges. (They are now on something called Fleur Telecoms.) This is bound to create short-term changes in its speed patterns. My guess is that the slower connections will be those that go, producing an artificial increase in tested speeds.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
The move of people to Fleur Telecom was only around 100,000 to 150,000 people so a small fraction compared to the on-net number.
Posted by Blackmamba 11 months ago
Hi Andrew staff.
Your Thinkbroadband data gives the same information I received from Liverpool data centre on my old TXK exchange after each month from the (exchange router control )so I am able to pick out the differences on the post codes and customers with line faults.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
@blackmamba I totally fail to see the relevance of data from an exchange system that ended its life in 1994.

What do you do with these mystical faults that you identify then?
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