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Broadband Speed Test Results for May 2016
Wednesday 01 June 2016 12:07:07 by Andrew Ferguson

Another busy month in the broadband world as the Universal Service Obligation dominated and the ASA announced it was to research broadband speeds. With the extra focus on broadband speeds we have added a third table this month, as we look at the relative performance of the various technologies used in the UK for broadband and also have added the bottom 10% speed figure for the individual providers.

Technology Comparison From Internet Speed Tests May 2016
Technology Download speed of bottom 10%
Mbps
Median Download
Mbps
Mean Download
Mbps
Median Upload
Mbps
Mean Upload
Mbps
Download speed of top 10%
Mbps
ADSL/ADSL2+ 1.0 5.3 6.5 0.6 0.6 14.7
VDSL2/FTTC 12.8 29.7 30.9 7.4 7.8 51.1
Cable Broadband 8.3 42.7 51.4 5.1 6.2 105.2
FTTH/FTTP 19.8 84.2 109.9 28 61.8 228.3
3G/4G Mobile 1.9 11.3 17.3 1.6 3.8 39.2
Fixed Wireless 1.8 9.4 15.5 1.4 5.3 31.4
Satellite 0.8 5.0 7.1 0.1 0.3 17.6

For many of the technologies while the table is a good guide to the relative performance of the different tech employed remember that these are observed speeds, so the package choice will have an impact but even with that caveat the differences are enlightening.

One change implemented in May 2016 is that Openreach FTTP based connections (which is mainly BT Retail users) are not rolled into the FTTC technology figures but are now in the overall FTTH figures. At the national level this has a minimal impact since GEA-FTTP is only available to 1% of UK premises but as the roll-out increases it will become more significant and doing this change now ensures we can track the take-up and speeds received.

Large Provider Fibre Based Connection Speed Tests May 2016
(Change since previous month)
Provider Download speed of bottom 10%
Mbps
Median Download
Mbps
Mean Download
Mbps
Median Upload
Mbps
Mean Upload
Mbps
Download speed of top 10%
Mbps
BT 14 32.2 (+0.7) 33.1 8.5 (+0.1) 8.7 54.2
EE 11.2 28.6 (+0.9) 27.8 8.0 (+0.1) 7.3 37.4
Plusnet 12.6 32.5 (+1.3) 33.6 6.4 (+0.8) 8.2 61.4
Sky 10.8 25.6 (+0.2) 25.4 7.0 (+0.1) 6.7 37.4
TalkTalk 14.1 27.9 (+0.5) 29.1 1.8 (=) 4.5 41.1
Virgin Media 8.3 42.7 (+1.1) 51.4 5.1 (+0.1) 6.2 105.2
Vodafone 13.3 31.4 (-0.3) 32.4 8.8 (-0.1) 9.4 55.7

For the VDSL2 services the difference in the speed for the top 10% is a reflection of the popularity of the up to 76 Mbps services with BT and Plusnet. The up to 2 Mbps service as always is clearly obvious on the TalkTalk service but after a few months of decreasing upload speeds at Plusnet there are signs that their change to give their entry level service just 2 Mbps upload may have flattened out with a small rise in the median this month, we suspect part of the gamble at Plusnet was that some people would upgrade to the premium up to 76 Mbps download with up to 19 Mbps upload for the extra £5/month.

We had hoped that the popularity of the up to 300 Mbps HomeWorker option from Virgin Media might start to show up on our speed profiles, but while we can see people with the service the volume is not enough to appear on the profile, the 1.1 Mbps rise in median speed is most likely down to the usual monthly variations. Another factor is that those upgrading to the 300 Mbps service are most likely to be those subscribing to the 200 Mbps product.

ADSL/ADSL2+ Connection Speed Tests May 2016
(Change since previous month)
Provider/Area Download speed of bottom 10%
Mbps
Median Download
Mbps
Mean Download
Mbps
Median Upload
Mbps
Mean Upload
Mbps
Download speed of top 10%
Mbps
BT 0.8 5.0 (+0.2) 6.5 0.5 (=) 0.5 15.2
EE 0.9 5.1 (=) 6.3 0.7 (=) 0.7 14.1
Plusnet 0.9 5.4 (+0.1) 6.6 0.6 (+0.1) 0.6 14.5
Sky 1.1 5.4 (+0.1) 6.7 0.6 (=) 0.6 14.8
TalkTalk 1.2 5.4 (=) 6.5 0.6 (=) 0.6 14.3
Vodafone 1.0 5.7 4.9 (-1.8) 0.6 0.6 14
Rural ADSL 0.7 4.0 (+0.2) 5.0 0.3 0.4 11.3

The ADSL world is unsurprisingly very stable and hopefully as take-up of VDSL/FTTH/Cable services increases we will eventually see it dwindle into obscurity but for now it is still the most popular broadband technology in terms of speed tests that we see.

The 25 Fastest UK Broadband Providers in May 2016
(ordered by median speed)
Smaller providers without enough geographic data samples are not included
Provider Download Speed of bottom 10%
Mbps
Median Download
Mbps
Mean Download
Mbps
Median Upload
Mbps
Mean Upload
Mbps
Download Speed of top 10%
Mbps
Hyperoptic 15 63.8 116.7 45.3 100.9 335.3
Gigaclear 25 56.5 92.3 48.5 119.7 202.5
Virgin Media 8.3 42.7 51.4 5.1 6.2 105.2
Vodafone Broadband 2.5 21.3 24.5 5.6 6.7 49.6
IDNet 2.1 19 25.4 4.8 6.1 65.1
AAISP 5.1 18.8 31.8 4.5 8.7 70.2
BT 1.8 18 22.1 4.2 5.5 46.7
Zen Internet 2.4 17.3 25.9 4.3 7.4 66.7
Claranet SOHO 3.9 16.6 27.8 3 9.5 87.4
EE Mobile (3G/4G) 2.0 16.4 21.6 1.8 4.4 47.1
Vodafone Mobile 2.1 13 17.6 1.8 3.7 40.2
Plusnet 1.5 11.3 18.3 0.9 4.1 42.6
XILO Communications 3.8 10.1 22.5 0.8 5.4 67
KCOM 2.2 10.1 30.1 0.7 8.5 75.5
Entanet 0.8 9.4 18.9 1.6 8.0 40.0
O2 Mobile 1.6 8.4 12.8 1.3 3.1 30.1
Sky 1.4 8.2 12.2 0.7 2.6 29.7
Three 1.4 8 13.6 1.1 3.6 33.7
TalkTalk 1.5 7.8 13.4 0.7 1.8 34.0
EE (ADSL2+/FTTC) 1.2 7.5 12.4 0.8 2.8 34.4
Eclipse KCOM outside Hull 0.9 7.4 13.7 0.7 3.5 37.6
Relish 1.6 7.3 11.6 1.1 1.6 26.8
Daisy Wholesale 0.9 7.1 15.8 0.8 4.7 39.3
The Cloud 2 7 8.9 0.8 1.3 18.7
Demon Internet 1.2 5.4 9.4 0.7 1.9 16.9

As usual there are some worth of mention who did not make the table due to sample size, and this month we have median speeds from Venus (79.5 Mbps), B4RN (65.3 Mbps), Metronet (33.8 Mbps), WightFibre (30.1 Mbps), Ask4 (21.4 Mbps) and while not plotted on our maps as Jersey is a British Crown Dependency Jersey Telecom (23.9 Mbps).

The appearance of The Cloud and Relish in sufficient test numbers to make the table pushed BT Wi-Fi (4.8 Mbps) and Post Office Broadband (3.3 Mbps) off the bottom of the table.

Comments

Posted by gt94sss2 6 months ago
It will be interesting to see how the figures for BT change after they start their mass upgrade programme to move Infinity 1 users from 40MB to 55MB in July
Posted by WWWombat 6 months ago
One thing stood out in the first table ...

That VM's "bottom 10%" is slower than the VDSL2/FTTC "bottom 10%".

It stood out, but I'm not sure it was a surprise.
Posted by Teefenn1 6 months ago
Surely the final table is meaningless because you have lumped ADSL2+ and fibre technologies together? Companies with more fibre customers and ADSL2+ ones with shorter lines will appear higher up the table. It doesn't mean they're better at providing best speed a particular line will allow.
It's no surprise that the three at the top of the table do not sell ADSL2+.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 6 months ago
The final table helps to show the relative performances, so the fact that BT Retail is not running at the FTTC type speeds shows that an awful lot of people are still on ADSL2+.

This is why the ranges such as top and bottom 10% are included, as they give a good idea of speeds for old tech versus new tech.

So yes not perfect, but as a monthly update worthwhile. Or would people prefer we do an annual report only?
Posted by CarlThomas 6 months ago
The three at the top of the table don't sell xDSL full stop, let alone ADSL2+.

The difference between BT, who have aggressively pursued FTTC, and Sky and TalkTalk who have until relatively recently done their utmost to sweat the copper to the exchange, is very noticeable especially on upload.
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