Broadband News

Peak and off peak performance at the largest UK broadband providers in February 2018

We have looked at the performance of providers in two different ways already this month with our massive monthly roundup and then a smaller subset for performance in the 8pm to 10pm and finally we compare the performance of the single download test versus the multiple download test for the six largest broadband providers in UK.

This analysis is deliberately sensitive to any performance bottlenecks, be they Wi-Fi, broadband router, broadband connection or providers network and while a national summary cannot predict how an individuals connection will perform it does give people a baseline to see if any decline in performance from off-peak to peak is significantly worse than the average (median) performance when running a broadband speed test.

Off-Peak Tests Results February 2018
Off-Peak defined as midnight to 5.59pm
Median Average
Providertbbx1 Test
(1 download)
httpx6 Test
(6 downloads)
% difference
between
tbbx1 and
httpx6 speeds
Upload SpeedQuality
Lower is Better
Grade A = Best
Latency
BT 31.6 Mbps 36.1 Mbps -12.5% 7 Mbps 0.3 - Grade A 38ms
EE 14.2 Mbps 15.9 Mbps -10.7% 2 Mbps 0.6 - Grade A 49ms
Plusnet 24.8 Mbps 26.6 Mbps -6.8% 5.2 Mbps 0.3 - Grade A 42ms
Sky 16.1 Mbps 20.4 Mbps -21.1% 3.8 Mbps 0.5 - Grade A 49ms
TalkTalk 14.1 Mbps 17.1 Mbps -17.5% 2.5 Mbps 0.4 - Grade A 51ms
Virgin Media 54.1 Mbps 78.9 Mbps -31.5% 8.4 Mbps 1.0 - Grade B 38ms

In the daytime window things are pretty consistent compared to the previous month apart from Sky where the difference has jumped from -12.7% to -21.1%. We have looked at the inclusion of Vodafone Home Broadband but the data volume from the tester versions that do both download tests is still below what we would consider would give a reliable indicator of overall performance for these metrics.

Virgin Media did see a 3% widening of the gap between the two tests and this was not the single download performance getting worse but the median multiple download increase, suggesting maybe that as more customers upgrade to faster services if doing multiple things the benefit is seen, but for a single stream download upgrading does not guarantee a massive jump in all cases.

Peak Tests Results February 2018
Peak time defined as 6pm to 11:59pm
Median Average
Providertbbx1 Test
(1 download)
httpx6 Test
(6 downloads)
% difference
between tbbx1 and
httpx6 speeds
Upload SpeedQuality
Lower is Better
Grade A = Best
Latency
BT 30.6 Mbps 35.4 Mbps -13.6% 6.7 Mbps 0.4 - Grade A 38ms
EE 10.8 Mbps 11.9 Mbps -9.3%

1 Mbps

0.9 - Grade B 58ms
Plusnet 22.5 Mbps 25.3 Mbps -11.1% 4.5 Mbps 0.4 - Grade A 42ms
Sky 14.5 Mbps 18.1 Mbps -19.9% 3.6 Mbps 0.6 - Grade A

49ms

TalkTalk 13.8 Mbps 16.8 Mbps -17.9% 2.6 Mbps 0.5 - Grade A 52ms
Virgin Media 51.3 Mbps 77.5 Mbps -33.9% 7.5 Mbps 1.2 - Grade C

39ms

The jump in speeds but still a similar gap in performance for Virgin Media that was observed during the day time period is still present in the six hours of the evening time window and while a single download speed of 51.3 Mbps should be more than enough for streaming Ultra HD video content when you combine that with the higher variation in speeds that the quality factor indicates it suggests that seeing the buffering symbol is clearly something that Virgin Media users may see even if the bigger numbers are better results are looking good.

Comments

I have been a Sky and Virgin customer but currently with Plusnet (effectively budget BT)

Plusnet (so far after 12 months) have provided the most stable and closest to target service.)

Although customer service responses can be seen to be variable on their Forum - I have always received first class cooperation.

  • trashcooky
  • about 1 year ago

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