Broadband News

UK Broadband Speed Test Results for March 2017

The schools have broken up for Easter (or are about to break up) so we might see some different results in April, but we need to wait a few weeks to learn if all the school children being home will have any impact on speeds for providers. What we do know now is the results from March 2017 and the table of the fastest 50 services is below, with ADSL services just scraping into the bottom of the table, and the top being dominated as usual by full fibre services.

The 50 Fastest UK Broadband Providers and Services in March 2017
(ordered by median speed)
Smaller providers without enough geographic data samples are not included
Provider Quality Metric 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 Gigabit 1.4 101.7 220.9 267.5 193 249.3 555
Gigaclear 200 Mbps 1 100.6 103 130.7 94.3 102.1 195.5
Venus 1 83.7 93.3 144.6 90.2 124.5 231.3
Ask4 1 6.8 88.2 76.5 9.7 17.2 98.5
Virgin 300 Mbps 1.5 34.8 86.1 111 13.9 20.6 217.5
TalkTalk UFO (York) 1.6 14.1 73.8 76.6 13.8 23.6 127.9
Virgin 100 Mbps 1.8 16 55.4 52.9 5.3 6.1 88.8
AAISP (FTTC) 1.0 19.2 52.8 49 16.1 17 73
Metronet UK 1.1 9.9 52.7 72.4 31.8 54 132.9
BT Infinity 2 (FTTC) 1.1 29.9 52.2 52.3 16 14.8 74.1
KCom Lightstream 1.4 20.3 51.1 66.8 12.3 19.9 132.5
Hyperoptic 100 Mbps 1.3 15.8 47 48.7 34.3 36.9 76
BT Infinity (FTTH) 1.3 20.1 46.8 56.4 10.5 13.1 99.8
Small/Medium providers - up to 76 Mbps (FTTC) 1.2 23.6 46.6 48.5 16.5 18.7 73
Virgin Media 200 Mbps 1.7 23.4 46.4 74.8 10.3 9.8 160.1
Gigaclear 100 Mbps 1.9 17.2 43.5 42.4 34.7 37.9 68.2
IDNet (FTTC) 1 18.1 40.6 43.8 11.6 11.9 69.3
Zen Internet (FTTC) 1.2 18.7 39.4 45 15.1 15.8 71.8
PlusNet Fibre Extra (FTTC up to 76 Mbps) 1.3 16.5 39.2 40.9 9.8 10.9 68.8
Sky Fibre Pro up to 76 Mbps 1.2 26.6 38.1 41.6 11 12.5 62.7
EE Fibre Plus up to 76 Mbps 2.9 22.2 37.4 40.3 12.8 13.3 63.4
Daisy Wholesale (FTTC) 1.4 15.7 36.4 38.5 10 12.2 70.6
SeeTheLight (IFNL - FTTH) 1.3 17.5 34.3 37.5 11.6 15.3 56.5
Eclipse (FTTC) 1.4 11.9 32.7 34 7.6 10.2 60.3
TalkTalk Fibre Plus up to 76 Mbps 1.4 15.4 31.5 33.3 6.4 8.3 54.8
Entanet (FTTC) 1.3 9.7 31.2 35.6 9 11.2 70.1
Vodafone Broadband (FTTC) 1.4 14.5 30.9 32.7 8.7 9.6 54.2
Wessex Internet 1.2 16.3 29.8 31.2 3.8 8.3 48.1
BT Infinity 1 up to 52 Mbps (FTTC) 1.3 12.6 29.7 30.1 6.6 6.2 49
MacAce (FTTC) 1 14.6 29.1 33.7 7.3 8.7 65.3
PlusNet Fibre (FTTC) up to 38 Mbps 1.8 14.1 28.6 27 1.7 1.6 36.7
TalkTalk Faster Broadband (FTTC) up to 38 Mbps 1.3 13.4 25.8 25.5 1.7 1.7 37
EE Fibre (FTTC) up to 38 Mbps 2.4 10.1 25 24.2 7.1 6.4 36
Origin Broadband (FTTC) 1.6 9.3 24.4 25.5 7.2 7.3 40.1
Sky Fibre (FTTC) up to 38 Mbps 1.5 10.7 23.7 23.1 6.4 6.1 35.2
Small/Medium Providers (FTTC) up to 38 Mbps 1.4 8.7 22.9 22.6 5.5 6.5 36.1
EE Mobile 2 3.3 19.8 27.5 2.9 5.5 59
Hyperoptic 20 Mbps 4.4 2.1 19 15 0.7 0.7 20.8
Virgin 50 Mbps 2.3 2.5 18.8 22.5 2.3 2.1 50.6
Claranet SOHO 1.2 2.8 16.7 34.2 4.6 19 70.1
Vodafone Mobile 2.3 3.9 15.7 19.5 2.8 4.2 41.8
O2 WiFi 2 1.5 11.3 15.3 1.4 3 37.1
O2 Mobile 2.4 2.5 11.1 15.5 1.8 3.5 34.5
Relish 2 2.4 10.9 16.9 1.2 2 38.2
Three Mobile 2.2 2.2 10.6 15.5 1.7 4.2 37.3
KCom (ADSL) 1.4 1.8 7.4 7.6 0.6 0.5 13.8
IDNet (ADSL) 1.1 1.8 6.9 8.6 0.7 0.7 16.5
MacAce (ADSL) 1.1 1.8 6.5 7.1 0.5 0.5 12.7
Demon (ADSL) 1.4 1 6.2 6.5 0.6 0.6 12.7
Zen Internet (ADSL) 1.4 1.1 6.2 7.2 0.5 0.6 15.4

The quality metric needs its scale explaining so a rough guide is:

  • 1 to 1.2: Very good connection for streaming and gaming with stable speeds
  • 1.3 to 1.8: Connections are good but there may be the odd rare stutter in downloads or gaming
  • 1.8 to 2.2: Likely to be using Wi-Fi or on a good mobile service. The odd dip in speeds and stutters are noticeable
  • 2.2 to 3: Your connection or Wi-Fi is affecting your experience and web pages may arrive in fits and starts
  • 3 to 4: Connection is likely to be heavily congested and streaming will be difficult. It is worth checking no-one in the property is also heavily using the connection
  • Over 4: Time to find a better provider or if on Wi-Fi use an Ethernet cable

As its the end of the last quarter we are including our technology summary table, which will now feature at the end of each quarter, and hopefully as full fibre services become more common we will see the ratio of FTTH tests increase.

Speeds of Broadband Technologies as seen during Q1/2017
(ordered by median speed)
Tech Ratio of tests Quality Metric Down Speed of bottom 10%
Mbps
Median
Mbps
Mean
Mbps
Median Upload
Mbps
Mean Upload
Mbps
Down Speed of top 10%
Mbps
FTTH/FTTP 1.3% 1.4 18.3 51.3 76 13.7 35 149
Cable 22.8% 1.8 9.1 40.4 48.8 5.2 6.3 98.9
VDSL2/FTTC 36.7% 1.4 12.9 29 31.3 6.8 7.6 51.9
Fixed Wireless 0.2% 1.6 4.2 20 25.9 3.6 10.8 49.9
Mobile N/A (*) 2.2 2.9 14.9 21.5 2.5 4.7 46.4
Satellite 0.02% 1.8 2.1 9.2 13 0.1 0.8 21.3
ADSL/ADSL2+ 39% 1.5 1.2 6 7.2 0.6 0.6 15.3
(*) as mobile overlays the other technologies its ratio is not shown

The technology splits will be confirmed if the major providers include enough data in their next set of financial results, but in the meantime it does give a good insight into the combination of coverage and take-up for the various services. The forcing down of the FTTC 40/10 wholesale price by Ofcom may not please everyone, but if the aim is to encourage more of those on ADSL2+ who have an FTTC option to upgrade it speed up the take-up, but for those in the final 3-5% who have no faster option than ADSL/ADSL2+ currently it may see them stuck paying for expensive ADSL services (more expensive than urban areas due to previous Ofcom regulation) until the Universal Service Obligation becomes reality.

Median Peak and Off-Peak Download Speed Tests Results March 2017
Provider tbbx1 Test
(1 download)
httpx6 Test
(6 downloads)
Quality
  7am-3pm 6pm-midnight % difference 7am-3pm 6pm-midnight % difference 7am-3pm 6pm-midnight
BT 25.1 Mbps 23.3 Mbps -7.2% 27.7 Mbps 26.6 Mbps -4% 1.02 1.12
EE 12.3 Mbps 9.7 Mbps -21.2% 13.5 Mbps 11.8 Mbps -12.6% 1.19 1.56
Plusnet 19.2 Mbps 18.2 Mbps -5.2% 23.8 Mbps 21.4 Mbps -10% 1.07 1.12
Sky 12.9 Mbps 11.9 Mbps -7.8% 15.4 Mbps 14.5 Mbps -5.8% 1.11 1.26
TalkTalk 12.6 Mbps 11.6 Mbps -8% 13.9 Mbps 13.3 Mbps -4.3% 1.19 1.17
Virgin Media 40.4 Mbps 25.9 Mbps -35.9% 61.8 Mbps 44.5 Mbps -28% 1.48 1.80

The usual pattern of the peak versus off-peak performance is evident as users do more and more with their broadband services continues, and this is most apparent at Virgin Media, who while they did have an issue for a couple of days in March 2017 this had little overall impact on the figures. The Virgin Media issues are very variable with a mixture of very happy and unhappy users, which is perhaps highlighted by the variation in the quality metric values across the UK e.g. 3.1 in Shepway district and a much better 1.6 in Shropshire. AAISP has also been chasing down some single download issues within the TalkTalk wholesale network that are now marked as resolved. This geographic variation highlights the difficulty that there will be if regulators try to make broadband advertising more fair, i.e. pressure to use sampling from the better areas and that broadband speed complaints are not just about the distance issues from DSL technologies.

Comments

@Andrew

Holidays are now split, some schools break earlier some later.

  • themanstan
  • 3 months ago

Quality results for Virgin in the evening again.

  • Kebabselector
  • 3 months ago

A lot of schools I know don't break until 9th April this Friday.

  • mobilebb
  • 3 months ago

Have added a caveat on the schools to avoid upsetting those still at school.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 3 months ago

s/scrapping/scraping

  • Diggory
  • 3 months ago

Scrapping fixed, though would be nice if all ADSL/ADSL2+ was scrapped and something better made available to those people.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 3 months ago

@andrew That would be nice!!

  • Kebabselector
  • 3 months ago

Why not start a campaign to withdraw LLU in order to allow full use if the spectrum for VDSL, making long reach VDSL an option? I hear 30Mbps at 3Km is possible, which would be a huge improvement for many.

  • New_Londoner
  • 3 months ago

@andrew
I am perfectly happy with my low cost adsl2+ connection, thank you! We don't all want or need to pay more for 'something better' when what we have is more than adequate.

  • alanplusnet
  • 3 months ago

New_Londoner
OFCOMs latest consultation includes a section on the potential of doing this for LRVDSL on a cabinet basis IF OR request it and are prepared to pay to migrate ISPs customers AND the operators agree! ( Section 6.25)

  • jumpmum
  • 3 months ago

@jumpmum
... which effectively means that we're all held to ransom by increasingly obsolete network technology because (1) a small number of ISPs with LLU equipment and (2) a declining number of consumers and SMEs that want something for next to nothing!

Why not set a sunset clause for ADSL, state all ADSL-based network services will be retired by say 2020? That would allow LRVDSL to be offered to meet the new USO, assuming this is introduced in 2020 as indicated previously.

  • New_Londoner
  • 3 months ago

There definitely needs to be a way to pension off the older technologies. But BT is still figuring out how to migrate from 20CN ADSL to 21CN ADSL2+ in tiny rural exchanges where there is no room.

Imagine how hard it will be when you need competitors to agree? Especially after one is being threatened to have to pay the costs of the other.

Another great win for Ofcom's decision to go with a competitive environment, rather than a cooperative one. We'll get sick of all this winning!

  • WWWombat
  • 3 months ago

ADSL/ADSL2+ is the largest group of users. The only acceptable way of doing away with this servie would be to provide a free upgrade to VDSL but is there enough equipment or space in the cabinets to do this?

  • Michael_Chare
  • 3 months ago

not normally enough space in the cab (more houses normally then slots available in the cab)

  • leexgx
  • 3 months ago

Why do away with ADSL/2? There are many people who are happy with Freeview terrestial, who don't want the hours of canned repeats on the scores of internet/cable channels, and who find their old-fashioned technology adequate for their needs.

  • mike41
  • 3 months ago

Do away with ADSL because it's holding things back for the now majority of people for whom it's inadequate.

The majority of the UK's broadband subscribers are on cable or VDSL now.

Ofcom appear incapable of promoting investment in infrastructure, apparently far more interested in ensuring Sky, TalkTalk, etc, can sweat Openreach's assets for as little money as possible.

  • CarlThomas
  • 3 months ago

Adding a G.Fast pod to the PCP will (once the hardware is fully developed) add another 96 lines capacity.

As some people migrate from FTTC to G.Fast, extra capacity will become available.

  • WWWombat
  • 3 months ago

The Huawei cabinets, both sizes, can also be upgraded through extensions to their shells and additional line cards going into cages.

  • CarlThomas
  • 3 months ago

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