Broadband speeds for broadband services at peak times
There are just six weeks to go until a big shake-up will take place in how broadband package speeds are advertised. The ASA/CAP changes requiring adverts for broadband (which includes listings and product pages) to include a peak time median average speed for the service between 8pm and 10pm are designed to help highlight the performance of different services at the time of day the majority of the public are actually using the service.
The big unknown is exactly what the providers are going to use for figures, in the past it was pretty simple, as ADSL2+ invariably appeared as up to 17 Mbps and the basic VDSL2 services as up to 38 Mbps, but since the new system is meant to be based on testing of throughput rather than connection speed there are going to be a lot more variations.
With the first quarter of 2018 now over we can share the results from our monitoring of broadband speed tests and compared to our last round-up in March the wider period of a quarter lets us add a couple of packages that were otherwise missing.
The analysis since it is a full end to end test will include the influence of the performance of Wi-Fi and therefore we do expect providers to use higher figures, but given the large amount of access to the broadband that is over Wi-Fi including that element in any analysis is important to the overall picture and where providers supply flaky or sub-standard wireless routers our results should reflect that.
|Broadband Speeds for a number of UK Internet Service Providers during the 8pm to 10pm period during Q1 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||4.9||14.3|
|BT Infinity 1 up to 52 Mbps FTTC||A (0.6)||Down||10.5||25.7||44.2|
|BT Infinity 1 up to 52 Mbps FTTP||A (0.7)||Down||9.2||28||48.4|
|BT Infinity 2 up to 76 Mbps FTTC||A (0.3)||Down||36.1||54||72.2|
|BT Infinity 2 up to 76 Mbps FTTP||A (0.4)||Down||38.5||60.5||73.3|
|EE ADSL/ADSL2+||B (0.8)||Down||0.7||5.2||14.8|
|EE Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTC||C (1.7)||Down||10.7||24.4||34.6|
|EE Fibre up to 76 Mbps FTTC||C (1.6)||Down||30.6||49||68.2|
|Plusnet ADSL/ADSL2+||A (0.6)||Down||1.0||5.6||15|
|Plusnet Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTC||A (0.5)||Down||10.1||24.1||36.5|
|Plusnet Fibre Extra up to 76 Mbps FTTC||A (0.2)||Down||36.1||51.6||71.8|
|Sky ADSL2+||A (0.6)||Down||1.3||5.7||14.3|
|Sky Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTC||A (0.6)||Down||10.8||23.1||34.7|
|Sky Fibre Pro up to 76 Mbps FTTC||A (0.5)||Down||32.4||46.6||66.0|
|TalkTalk ADSL2+||A (0.6)||Down||0.9||5.6||13.2|
|TalkTalk Fibre up to 38 Mbps FTTC||A (0.6)||Down||10.1||22.6||36|
|TalkTalk Fibre up to 76 Mbps FTTC||A (0.4)||Down||34.4||46.1||68.3|
|Virgin Media up to 50 Mbps Cable||C (1.2)||Down||2.2||19.3||52.9|
|Virgin Media up to 100 Mbps Cable||B (0.9)||Down||18.4||49.6||98.7|
|Virgin Media up to 200 Mbps Cable||B (1.0)||Down||58.9||129.5||198.5|
|Virgin Media up to 350 Mbps Cable||B (1.1)||Down||66.0||218.6||319.2|
|Vodafone ADSL2+||A (0.6)||Down||0.2||4.5||13.9|
|Vodafone up to 38 Mbps FTTC||A (0.7)||Down||7.9||21.3||34.9|
|Vodafone up to 76 Mbps FTTC||A (0.4)||Down||22.2||42.5||64.6|
EE stands out with regards to its quality measure and this looks to be down to a pattern for lots of users where to reach the median speed we record it is taking a couple of seconds. The potential impact of this may not be noticeable on text heavy web sites but as more adopt large hero images and background images users may find that some sites feel less responsive.
Virgin Media while often near the top of the speed tables can be a bit of a marmite provider, i.e. when it is working and you are in an uncogested area then the service is brilliant, but if an area sees congestion issues some have found that switching to slower FTTC based services can actually give a better user experience.
Our speed test is designed to try and be more reflective of actual use, hence for an individual test we show the median speed as the average result, this median speed figure is what feeds into any our broadband speed analysis too. Some other speed tests show more of a top quartile or even higher peak speed for the result which while it may be good for bragging may not be a real reflection of sustained performance.