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|
All speeds are in Mbps - Mega bits per second
|Provider||Quality||Direction||Speed of bottom 10%||Median||Speed of Top 10%|
|BT ADSL/ADSL2+||A (0.7)||Down||0.8||5.0||14.2|
|BT Infinity 1 up to 52 Mbps FTTC||A (0.6)||Down||10.7||26.4||44.6|
|BT Infinity 2 up to 76 Mbps FTTC||B (0.3)||Down||36.9||54.8||72.2|
|EE ADSL/ADSL2+||B (0.8)||Down||0.6||3.9||14.5|
|EE Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTC||C (1.5)||Down||12.5||25.6||34.9|
|Plusnet ADSL/ADSL2+||C (1.2)||Down||0.9||5.1||16.1|
|Plusnet Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTC||A (0.5)||Down||11.2||25.8||36.8|
|Plusnet Fibre Extra up to 76 Mbps FTTC||A (0.2)||Down||38.4||51.7||71.9|
|Sky ADSL2+||A (0.6)||Down||1.3||5.5||14.0|
|Sky Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTC||A (0.6)||Down||11.1||23.5||35.1|
|Sky Fibre Pro up to 76 Mbps FTTC||A (0.5)||Down||35.8||46.5||65.0|
|TalkTalk ADSL2+||A (0.6)||Down||0.8||4.9||12.8|
|TalkTalk Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTC||A (0.5)||Down||11.2||23.8||36.6|
|Virgin Media up to 50 Mbps Cable||B (1.1)||Down||1.8||18.1||52.7|
|Virgin Media up to 100 Mbps Cable||B (0.9)||Down||18.8||49.8||99.9|
|Virgin Media up to 200 Mbps Cable||B (1.0)||Down||65.0||135.9||203.0|
|Vodafone up to 38 Mbps FTTC||A (0.7)||Down||8.0||20.3||35.0|
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.
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 G.fast 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.