Broadband News

Peak time speeds for the most common broadband packages in February 2018

For the most popular or should we say the most common providers there is a lot more customers and therefore we see a lot more speed tests and that means we can talk about the peak speeds during the short two hour window between 8pm and 10pm on a monthly basis that the new ASA rules will require broadband adverts to carry.

The list of packages is shorter than what we can derive from a quarters or a full year of speed tests, but seeing the ups and downs of packages across the period of a year is useful and helps providers avoid making all out efforts for special test periods that will then see the same glowing figures used for the next 12 months.

Broadband Speeds for a number of UK Internet Service Providers during the 8pm to 10pm period during February 2018
Ordered Alphabetically
All speeds are in Mbps - Mega bits per second
ProviderQualityDirectionSpeed of bottom 10%MedianSpeed of Top 10%
BT ADSL/ADSL2+A (0.7)Down 0.8 5.0 14.2
    Up 0.2 0.5 0.9
BT Infinity 1 up to 52 Mbps FTTCA (0.6)Down 10.7 26.4 44.6
    Up 2.2 5.2 8.7
BT Infinity 2 up to 76 Mbps FTTCB (0.3)Down 36.9 54.8 72.2
    Up 10.0 16.1 18.5
EE ADSL/ADSL2+B (0.8)Down 0.6 3.9 14.5
    Up 0.2 0.7 0.9
EE Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTCC (1.5)Down 12.5 25.6 34.9
    Up 2.6 6.1 8.9
Plusnet ADSL/ADSL2+C (1.2)Down 0.9 5.1 16.1
    Up 0.2 0.6 0.9
Plusnet Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTCA (0.5)Down 11.2 25.8 36.8
    Up 2.1 5.3 8.4
Plusnet Fibre Extra up to 76 Mbps FTTCA (0.2)Down 38.4 51.7 71.9
    Up 7.9 15.9 18.2
Sky ADSL2+A (0.6)Down 1.3 5.5 14.0
    Up 0.3 0.6 0.9
Sky Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTCA (0.6)Down 11.1 23.5 35.1
    Up 2.5 5.7 8.4
Sky Fibre Pro up to 76 Mbps FTTCA (0.5)Down 35.8 46.5 65.0
    Up 7.9 13.9 18.2
TalkTalk ADSL2+A (0.6)Down 0.8 4.9 12.8
    Up 0.2 0.6 0.8
TalkTalk Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTCA (0.5)Down 11.2 23.8 36.6
    Up 2.1 5.4 8.5
Virgin Media up to 50 Mbps CableB (1.1)Down 1.8 18.1 52.7
    Up 0.7 2.4 3.1
Virgin Media up to 100 Mbps CableB (0.9)Down 18.8 49.8 99.9
    Up 4.0 5.7 10.6
Virgin Media up to 200 Mbps CableB (1.0)Down 65.0 135.9 203.0
    Up 9.4 12.1 18.6
Vodafone up to 38 Mbps FTTCA (0.7)Down 8.0 20.3 35.0
    Up 2.1 5.6 8.2

Once providers start to publish their own median peak time speeds it is going to be interesting to see what the differences. The gap between what we are showing for the average speeds on the Virgin Media services compared to the providers own Sam Knows sample is already pretty large, and a lot of that may well be down to number of people testing over their Wi-Fi but given that use of Wi-Fi in the home is pretty much the normal way for people to use their devices we believe it is fair to include this, rather than produce a PC only figure where we also eliminate the obvious Wi-Fi based tests. Another factor is that the crowd sourced testing will include areas that have faults, so if a provider is heading towards that horrible time with lots of people complaining but their own support saying all is well it is likely we may one of the first to have some data supporting what an increasing number of people are complaining about.

The other way of looking at the peak time speeds is our daily monitoring and for the four largest broadband providers in the UK the speeds we see from speed tests during a slightly wider window of 6pm to 10pm are shown in the four plots below. Each of the plots shows the last sixty days so 11th March back to 11th January 2018 and while there are daily variations which are to be expected the speeds are actually pretty steady.

Peak time speeds for BT Broadband speed tests
Daily Profile of speeds seen from BT Broadband customers in last 60 days between 6pm and 10pm
Peak time speeds for Sky Broadband speed tests
Daily Profile of speeds seen from Sky Broadband customers in last 60 days between 6pm and 10pm
Peak time speeds for TalkTalk Broadband speed tests
Daily Profile of speeds seen from TalkTalk Broadband customers in last 60 days between 6pm and 10pm
Peak time speeds for Virgin Media Broadband speed tests
Daily Profile of speeds seen from Virgin Media Broadband customers in last 60 days between 6pm and 10pm

We suspect that the BT plot is a bit spiky on the top 10% speed line because of the influence of the faster FTTP options and an even smaller number of customers we see pop-up from time to time and something similar with the 300 Mbps and even rare 350 Mbps Virgin Media customers, but down at the median and mean averages all the four major providers are surprisingly consistent. We could have added EE, PlusNet and Vodafone plots but the sample size is marginal to show a daily speed profile. The reason we are tracking and sharing these sixty day plots is that there will be a time when customers are complaining about poor speeds and our data is showing this, so by publishing a picture of how the services perform over time ahead of those incidents gives us all some data to refer back to.


@thinkbroadband Interesting. VM's quality going down? Would match my experience, they seem to have hit a wall again…

  • @ultrafastcarl
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