Broadband News

Ofcom calculates UK average speed as 14.7 Mbps

Today's news from Ofcom is of no comfort to you if you can currently only get an ADSL or ADSL2+ service, as the headline of the UK average broadband speed increasing to 14.7 Mbps will mean nothing to you.

The Ofcom report if you actually look beyond the headline figure reveals that the improvements are in largely down to Virgin Media continuing its speed upgrade programme, and a higher proportion of people ordering superfast FTTC based services. In some ways the report is more important to the marketing people who if selling an up to 30 Mbps and getting an average speed of 30.6 Mbps will be the most excited, though do remember what Ofcom tells you "These ranges are not a description of the range of speeds actually measured".

Package 8pm to 10pm weekdays
BT ADSL2+ 8.2 Mbps to 10.1 Mbps
EE ADSL2+ 7.1 Mbps to 10.1 Mbps
Karoo ADSL2+ 8.8 Mbps to 10.6 Mbps
PlusNet ADSL2+ 8.2 Mbps to 10.4 Mbps
Sky ADSL2+ 6.9 Mbps to 8.7 Mbps
TalkTalk ADSL2+ 7.1 Mbps to 9.0 Mbps
BT up to 38 Mbps 30.6 Mbps to 34.1 Mbps
BT up to 76 Mbps 59.3 Mbps to 62.7 Mbps
PlusNet up to 76 Mbps 56.8 Mbps to 59.8 Mbps
Virgin Media up to 100 Mbps 76.9 Mbps to 85.2 Mbps
Virgin Media up to 120 Mbps 104.5 Mbps to 111.4 Mbps

These ranges reflect the average speeds that would be achieved 95 times out of 100 if the exercise was repeated with 100 sets of different panellists. If the range of two operators overlaps, then these operators offer comparable performance. These ranges are not a description of the range of speeds actually measured.

There is the inevitable widening of the urban rural speed gap, where urban speeds are 26.4 Mbps. but rural areas are just 9.9 Mbps, compared to 13.5 Mbps versus 4.1 Mbps two years ago, but with the on going improvements to broadband speeds across the UK this is to be expected. Unless providers were forced to not sell a faster service until everyone was able to order the new service. The divide is inevitable the question really is whether people believe the political announcements of 90% by 2015, which has now morphed into 95% able to order superfast by 2017, even though the original 2015 projects are only just starting to deliver.

We have looked at the data from our own speed test for the various providers over on our blog, including products not covered by the Ofcom research e.g. Sky fibre services and while our speeds may look lower, we are not applying any weighting to these results, and don't exclude people based on their line length and the results include a mixture of Ethernet and wireless connectivity.


And now for the truth:

  • FlappySocks
  • over 7 years ago

Netflix index is a very different measure, particularly as their streams are often only 2 to 3 Mbps maximum bit rate.

Super HD is up to 10 Mbps.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 7 years ago

All those comments about how awful and congested the VM network is and both Netflix, Offcom and the Thinkbroadband results show they are the fastest.

  • Dushyant
  • over 7 years ago

Interesting about the Urban/rural "gap" that's supposedly widening but you can read the figures in different ways.

Old: 13.5/4.1
New: 26.4/9.9

Sure, the "gap" went from 9.4Mbit to 16.5Mbit but both average speeds have actually increased by about the same amount, in fact rural speeds have increased at a faster rate - more than doubling, whereas urban speeds have less than doubled.

  • Kushan
  • over 7 years ago

TalkTalk LLU beats Sky LLU for ADSL2+ speeds...LOL

  • baby_frogmella
  • over 7 years ago

Virgin Media is congested. It's more than just basic speeds. The CDN that Virgin use for Youtube is vastly overpopulated. Just look at their forums to see.

  • James1o1o
  • over 7 years ago

Indeed, just look at the fact that with a line speed of 111Mbps (their 100Mbps is actually overprovisioned to 111), you only get an average of 76.9 Mbps to 85.2 Mbps.

That's less than 76% of what they should be getting - remember how VM advertise you don't lose speed regardless of line length? That leaves, guess what... Congestion. BT actually deliver a higher proportion of maximum speed despite having speed limited by line length - 82.5%-90%.

  • qasdfdsaq
  • over 7 years ago

Suggest you read the report through. Many of the congestion related stats show cable in a pretty poor light compared to FTTx.

  • New_Londoner
  • over 7 years ago

I dream of the speeds here. Currently stuck on a line that can't even deliver 2Mb.

  • Dixinormous
  • over 7 years ago

Why this obsession with speed to residential customers? The average home would not notice speeds in excess of 10mb. How much money is devoted to the ultra fast speeds when there are still homes with less than 3mb??

  • maxwild
  • over 7 years ago


Why should they deliver to economically enviable areas?

Everyone seems to want something for free nowadays.

  • otester
  • over 7 years ago

For the same reason electricity, water, fuel, telephone, and mail are all delivered to economically unviable areas. Because it's considered a basic utility everyone should be entitled to. The UN even deemed it a basic human right.

  • qasdfdsaq
  • over 7 years ago


It can only be a right if it doesn't infringe upon another right, otherwise it's a need.

  • otester
  • over 7 years ago


indeed it's called universal service obligation, any costs above ~£3000 are paid by the customer. Hence why there are many properties without gas still...they have fuel oil instead, it's expensive and inconvenient... much like satellite broadband.

  • themanstan
  • over 7 years ago

BB 1.8MB today with TT. March it was 2.1 MB. We were told ages ago this Exchange was to be closed and we would be connected to a larger Exchange. This hasn't happened.5 MB would mean I could use catch up TV, or watch YouTube without buffering. We are never getting Fibre, but the copper cable was here when I moved here in 1965. The "newest" bit from the junction box to the house is 30 years old. BB speed is getting slower and dropped calls are frequent. They should be made to replace cables from the furthest out to the nearest to the Exchange.

  • dragon1945
  • over 7 years ago

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