Broadband speed and the difference in averages
To start this week off we thought we would show some more detail on the various speeds seen, particularly after some questions have been raised as to why the median speeds we usually show in our speed test summaries can be lower than some other sources.
The main difference is that we quote a median speed when talking about ISP and regional speeds, which means that half the people in an area will get faster than the figure and half slower. The mean which is generally what people mean when they say 'average' tends to be higher in cases where a few connections excel, so may overstate what is generally available
|Download Speeds from our speed test for October 2014|
|Speed 90% will achieve||Median||Mean||Top 10%|
|England||1.9 Mbps||12.1 Mbps||22.3 Mbps||54.7 Mbps|
|Northern Ireland||1.7 Mbps||13.3 Mbps||23.2 Mbps||53.2 Mbps|
|Scotland||1.8 Mbps||8.8 Mbps||18.4 Mbps||47 Mbps|
|Wales||1.3 Mbps||6.7 Mbps||16.2 Mbps||40.2 Mbps|
|ADSL/ADSL2+||0.9 Mbps||4.2 Mbps||5.5 Mbps||12.1 Mbps|
|FTTC||10.9 Mbps||32.3 Mbps||33.2 Mbps||62.8 Mbps|
|Cable||9.3 Mbps||34.5 Mbps||45.4 Mbps||98.4 Mbps|
|FTTH/FTTP||8.4 Mbps||98.6 Mbps||139 Mbps||255 Mbps|
The graphic above that we tweeted over the weekend shows the difference that quoting our usual median speed (left hand image) compared to the mean makes very easily. The degree of difference highlights the need for those promoting broadband and publishing data to make it clear whether discussing median or mean speeds.
For the average consumer us telling you what the average speed in Wales is means very little as what matters to you is what speed you get to your house and what faster speed options you have. Fortunately most broadband providers now provide a speed range when you make an enquiry and/or sign-up and this will often be given as a range of speeds.