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Broadband Speed Test Results for March 2016
Tuesday 05 April 2016 11:37:32 by Andrew Ferguson

The first quarter of 2016 is over and spring is here and its all change at the top of the main table.

The mean and medians from Hyperoptic and Gigaclear have dropped and looking at the results this looks to be an effect of the popularity of the entry level speed products. In terms of speed performance Virgin Media has been pretty static though as the those on the 150 Mbps and faster products grow from the current 3% this may change quickly and en eventual DOCSIS 3.1 deployment with the usual 'free' speed upgrades would change things drastically. Virgin Media has embraced the 'free' upgrade culture to ensure even that end-user lethargy does not let them slip down the speed tables compared to BT.

Congratulations to B4RN who cover a large geographic footprint that is sparsely populated but usually don't feature due to the small sample size but with a higher than usual number of tests from different areas they have made the main table this month.

The 25 Fastest UK Broadband Providers in March 2016
(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%
Venus 97.7 Mbps 136.4 Mbps 81.5 Mbps 129 Mbps 462.4 Mbps
B4RN 47.6 Mbps 96.8 Mbps 23 Mbps 65.5 Mbps 290.8 Mbps
Virgin Media 41.3 Mbps 49.8 Mbps 5 Mbps 6 Mbps 102.8 Mbps
Hyperoptic 40.5 Mbps 76 Mbps 31.9 Mbps 66.8 Mbps 232.1 Mbps
Wessex Internet 29.1 Mbps 34.5 Mbps 3.4 Mbps 11 Mbps 54.6 Mbps
Gigaclear 28 Mbps 77.8 Mbps 23.3 Mbps 92 Mbps 214.2 Mbps
Vodafone Broadband 28 Mbps 29.7 Mbps 8.4 Mbps 8.6 Mbps 59 Mbps
Metronet UK 27.9 Mbps 45.3 Mbps 10.8 Mbps 32.9 Mbps 84 Mbps
Keycom 22.4 Mbps 49.2 Mbps 21.6 Mbps 31.1 Mbps 98.8 Mbps
AAISP 16 Mbps 29.5 Mbps 1.8 Mbps 9.8 Mbps 72.5 Mbps
Zen Internet 14.8 Mbps 23.3 Mbps 2.3 Mbps 6.3 Mbps 61.5 Mbps
BT 14.5 Mbps 19.7 Mbps 1.9 Mbps 4.9 Mbps 40.5 Mbps
EE Mobile (3G/4G) 14.3 Mbps 19.6 Mbps 1.5 Mbps 4.7 Mbps 43.8 Mbps
IDNet 12.5 Mbps 21.7 Mbps 0.9 Mbps 5.7 Mbps 55.9 Mbps
Vodafone Mobile 12.3 Mbps 16.7 Mbps 1.9 Mbps 3.6 Mbps 36.5 Mbps
Claranet SOHO 11.4 Mbps 24.5 Mbps 3.7 Mbps 10 Mbps 56.4 Mbps
Relish 10.9 Mbps 13.3 Mbps 1.3 Mbps 2.3 Mbps 30.3 Mbps
Plusnet 9.8 Mbps 16.5 Mbps 0.5 Mbps 3.7 Mbps 37.9 Mbps
O2 Mobile 8.9 Mbps 13.5 Mbps 1.4 Mbps 3.1 Mbps 32.2 Mbps
TalkTalk 8 Mbps 13.4 Mbps 0.7 Mbps 1.7 Mbps 33.9 Mbps
Sky 7.9 Mbps 11.9 Mbps 0.7 Mbps 2.5 Mbps 29.3 Mbps
Three 7.6 Mbps 14.7 Mbps 1.1 Mbps 3.4 Mbps 31.5 Mbps
KCom 7.3 Mbps 19.9 Mbps 0.7 Mbps 4.0 Mbps 54.7 Mbps
Daisy Wholesale 7 Mbps 14.5 Mbps 0.7 Mbps 4.4 Mbps 37.5 Mbps
EE (ADSL2+/FTTC) 6.9 Mbps 11.7 Mbps 0.8 Mbps 2.6 Mbps 33.2 Mbps
Eclipse KCom outside Hull 6.3 Mbps 12.5 Mbps 0.7 Mbps 3.1 Mbps 35.7 Mbps

Those providers where we see enough tests to consider for the top 25 table but did not make the grade are Demon (5.2 Mbps median), Timico (5.1 Mbps), BT WiFi (4.4 Mbps), TalkTalk Business (3.3 Mbps) and Post Office (2.5 Mbps).

Large Provider Fibre Based Connection Speed Tests March 2016
Provider Median Download Mean Download Median Upload Mean Upload
FTTC Overall (excludes Virgin Media) 28.3 Mbps (-0.1) 29.4 Mbps 6.8 Mbps (+0.1) 7.4 Mbps
BT 30.4 Mbps (-0.6) 31.7 Mbps 8.3 Mbps (+0.1) 8.6 Mbps
EE 27.2 Mbps (-1.8) 26.8 Mbps 7.9 Mbps (-0.3) 7.2 Mbps
Plusnet 30.6 Mbps (-0.8) 31.7 Mbps 6 Mbps (-1) 7.9 Mbps
Sky 24.9 Mbps (+0.1) 24.7 Mbps 6.9 Mbps (+0.1) 6.6 Mbps
TalkTalk 27.5 Mbps (=) 28.2 Mbps 1.8 Mbps (=) 4.1 Mbps
Virgin Media 41.3 Mbps (+0.2) 49.8 Mbps 5 Mbps (=) 6 Mbps
Vodafone 31.8 Mbps (-1) 34 Mbps 8.9 Mbps (-0.2) 10 Mbps

The joy of observed data is that you see fluctuations from month to month, so a month or with drops of 0.1 to 0.5 Mbps are little cause for concern, but the upload speeds on Plusnet have dropped from a high of 13.8 Mbps in September 2014 to the current 6 Mbps purely because of the policy change to sell the 2 Mbps upload product rather than up to 19 Mbps upload service (saving the provider a small amount per month). The profile of tests suggests 35% of Plusnet customers are on the up to 2 Mbps upload service at this time and its a growing proportion each month. At TalkTalk who have sold the up to 2 Mbps (up to 38 Mbps download) product as their only entry level FTTC for years its 73% on the entry level service with the remainder electing to buy the premium up to 76 download with up to 19 Mbps upload service.

We don't usually cover latency because even though the UK is small geography still plays a large part but looking at the product sets overall the mean latency figures are FTTH 42ms, FTTC 56ms, Virgin Media cable 72ms, wireless 109ms, ADSL 136 ms, mobile 141ms and satellite 876 ms. Rural FTTC manages an average of 56 ms and rural ADSL 166ms.

ADSL/ADSL2+ Connection Speed Tests March 2016
Provider/Area Median Download Mean Download Median Upload Mean Upload
All Providers 5.2 Mbps (-0.1) 6.6 Mbps 0.6 Mbps (=) 0.6 Mbps
BT 4.6 Mbps (-0.2) 6.0 Mbps 0.5 Mbps (+0.1) 0.5 Mbps
EE 4.7 Mbps (-0.1) 6.2 Mbps 0.7 Mbps (+0.1) 0.6 Mbps
Plusnet 5.3 Mbps (+0.1) 6.5 Mbps 0.6 Mbps (+0.1) 0.6 Mbps
Sky 5.3 Mbps (=) 6.7 Mbps 0.6 Mbps (=) 0.6 Mbps
TalkTalk 5.4 Mbps (-0.1) 6.6 Mbps 0.6 Mbps (=) 0.6 Mbps
Rural ADSL 3.8 Mbps (=) 4.8 Mbps 0.3 Mbps 0.4 Mbps

Almost a static picture with regards to ADSL/ADSL2+ performance and for those who don't trust mean and median figures, its worth highlighting that for ADSL overall 10% of the tests we see are under 1.1 Mbps, with the top 10% managing 14.6 Mbps.

The overall UK average (mean) was 21.9 Mbps down and 4.1 Mbps up, but this is across all devices tested, if we remove phones (26.8%) and tablets (18.2%) then the average increased to 25 Mbps down 4.5 Mbps up (bottom 10% 1.7 Mbps and top 10% 57.1 Mbps download) and showing the effect that Wi-Fi can have and why it can be important for those embracing nights in with Netflix to ensure the main TV is using an Ethernet connection to get the best possible speeds.

Comments

Posted by WWWombat 8 months ago
Do you see any difference in the volume of tests from "fibre broadband" areas?

I've found that my habits have changed nowadays - I have an 80/20 service that is a long way from being fully used, and I just don't bother performing speed tests anywhere near as often as I used to.

And ... just as my testing has become sporadic, it also tends to only happen when there is a problem, so the tests are also likely to mostly record results with an issue in place.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 8 months ago
Given 'fibre broadband' areas make up the majority of the UK, hard to say, the ratios of VDSL2 to ADSL2+ seem to mirror the reported take-up levels from financial reports at the national level. The advantage of a large observed sample.
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