Welcome to 2017 and that means its time to look back at the final month of 2016 with the December 2016 speed test results. The main table of services covered has been extended to 30 to ensure a wider range of providers are mentioned and highlight the difference between the old technology of ADSL2+ and many of the better options.
|The 30 Fastest UK Broadband Providers and Services in December 2016
(ordered by median speed)
Smaller providers without enough geographic data samples are not included
|Provider||Download Speed of bottom 10%
|Download Speed of top 10%
|BT Infinity (FTTH)||20.3||46.9||59.9||10.6||14.2||114.5|
|Zen Internet (FTTC)||14.1||37.1||38.9||9.2||11.1||69.1|
|Daisy Wholesale (FTTC)||13.2||35.8||37.3||9.3||11||65.9|
|BT Infinity (FTTC)||14.9||35.1||36||8.5||8.9||56.4|
|Vodafone Broadband (FTTC)||13.8||30.2||31.7||8.6||9.5||52.6|
|Zen Internet (ADSL)||1.2||5.8||6.8||0.6||0.6||14|
|Daisy Wholesale (ADSL)||1.2||5.7||7.1||0.5||0.5||16.6|
At the top end of the table but not included due to the small sample sizes involved in order of median download speed there is Venus - 88.3 Mbps, Zen Internet (FTTH) - 71.2 Mbps, B4RN - 63.4 Mbps and PlusNet (FTTH) 52.5 Mbps.
With satellite and fixed wireless often being spread amongst a wide range of smaller providers, we have brought back our technology comparison table that merges all the providers based on the type of technology used to deliver a service.
|Speeds of Broadband Technologies as seen in December 2016
(ordered by median speed)
|Provider||Ratio of tests||Down Speed of bottom 10%
|Down Speed of top 10%
|Fixed Wireless||0.14%||3.1||14.3||27.8 (**)||2.1||14.2 (**)||55.4|
The proportion of people testing on the various technologies is in line with the reported volumes of the major providers and with FTTH availability running at 2.14% across the UK the FTTH figure of 1% is encouraging. While observation via volumes of speed tests gives us a rough idea of take-up, it will never replace reliable trusted figures from the official reports of providers but given the lack of trust from the public in many providers the extra data we can provide is important.
|Median Peak and Off-Peak Download Speed Tests Results December 2016|
|7am-3pm||6pm-midnight||% difference||7am-3pm||6pm-midnight||% difference|
|BT||22.6 Mbps||23.3 Mbps||+3.1%||27.6 Mbps||27.4 Mbps||-0.7%|
|EE||9.2 Mbps||7.2 Mbps||-21.8%||10.2 Mbps||8.4 Mbps||-17.7%|
|Plusnet||17.9 Mbps||15.7 Mbps||-12.3%||22.6 Mbps||19.8 Mbps||-12.4%|
|Sky||10.7 Mbps||10.0 Mbps||-6.5%||12.9 Mbps||11.8 Mbps||-1.7%|
|TalkTalk||10.7 Mbps||9.9 Mbps||-7.5%||12.1 Mbps||11.8 Mbps||-2.5%|
|Virgin Media||38.5 Mbps||28.7 Mbps||-25.5%||57.8 Mbps||45.4 Mbps||-21.5%|
The ability of a small number of people to make a lot of noise on social media about services actually makes tables such as our comparison of peak versus off-peak speeds even more important than a few years ago, as it helps to evaluate on a much wider scale which providers had the most problems in the last month. Lots of press coverage in December was talking about a meltdown and blackout at Virgin Media, but it looks likely this was just a few people getting coverage as the speed story looks normal for the cable provider and if anything the dip in the single thread speeds was less than usual. PlusNet have been investigating an oddity with some people seeing very slow single thread downloads, and this seems not to be just be a test oddity as those seeing the problem see the issue with single downloads from other sources, what did change in December for PlusNet was that the multiple thread test showed a big drop at peak times and the last time this was seen was May 2015.