Peak and off peak performance at the largest UK broadband providers in April 2018
May is racing by and in particular the 23rd May is rapidly approaching and we are seeing providers lining up offers that end on 22nd to coincide with the big day when median peak time (8pm to 10pm) speeds in advertising should become the norm, earlier in May we looked at our analysis of various broadband services in the 8pm to 10pm window. This article looks at the difference between a single download and the more common speed test of multiple downloads, this should closely match how a connection performs with regards to video streaming and on a good connection these two tests known as tbbx1 and httpx6 in our speed test should be almost identical.
As with all our broadband analysis if you disagree or it does not reflect your experience we encourage you to run our speed test and add to our dataset of experiences, we need the brilliant, the mediocre and the down right ugly results to keep sharing all the analysis we do every month.
|Off-Peak Tests Results April 2018|
Off-Peak defined as midnight to 5.59pm
Lower is Better
Grade A = Best
|BT||31.5 Mbps||36.3 Mbps||-13.2%||7.3 Mbps||0.3 - Grade A||38ms|
|EE||14.4 Mbps||17.6 Mbps||-18.2%||2.5 Mbps||0.7 - Grade A||44ms|
|Plusnet||24.6 Mbps||26.9 Mbps||-8.6%||4.9 Mbps||0.4 - Grade A||42ms|
|Sky||16 Mbps||18.6 Mbps||-14.0%||3.2 Mbps||0.5 - Grade A||49ms|
|TalkTalk||14.9 Mbps||18.3 Mbps||-18.6%||2.8 Mbps||0.5 - Grade A||53ms|
|Virgin Media||51.6 Mbps||80.4 Mbps||-35.8%||8.4 Mbps||0.9 - Grade B||36ms|
|Vodafone Home Broadband (*)||27.2 Mbps||34.8 Mbps||-21.8%||7 Mbps||0.4 - Grade A||38ms|
|Zen Internet (*)||29.8 Mbps||37.2 Mbps||-19.9%||8.8 Mbps||0.1 - Grade A||36ms|
(*) The sample size for Vodafone is at the lower end but as the provider is growing rapidly we have added them to the results as we now expect the sample size to increase towards where we are as confident as we are with the EE and PlusNet results and at that point the sample size warning will vanish. Zen Internet is also a new inclusion but with a smaller sample size and has been added as we have made some changes as to how we extract the data from analysis systems making it easier to look the results outside of our traditional largest six providers.
We present two tables for the largest providers where we have enough data to be confident on the results and there is no splitting out into product and technology categories. We should highlight that there is a possibility of different populations testing during the day and the evening, so for anyone wanting to make a comparison between the two tables the important figure is the difference between the two download tests and what is happening to the quality factor.
|Peak Tests Results April 2018|
Peak time defined as 6pm to 11:59pm
between tbbx1 and
Lower is Better
Grade A = Best
|BT||32 Mbps||37.1 Mbps||-13.7%||7.7 Mbps||0.3 - Grade A||38ms|
|EE||11.9 Mbps||14.8 Mbps||-19.6%||
|0.9 - Grade B||49ms|
|Plusnet||22.3 Mbps||27 Mbps||-17.4%||4.9 Mbps||0.4 - Grade A||44ms|
|Sky||14.2 Mbps||18 Mbps||-21.1%||3.8 Mbps||0.7 - Grade A||
|TalkTalk||16.2 Mbps||19 Mbps||-14.7%||3.3 Mbps||0.4 - Grade A||49ms|
|Virgin Media||44.2 Mbps||72.3 Mbps||-38.8%||6.1 Mbps||1.0 - Grade B||
|Vodafone Home Broadband (*)||20.8 Mbps||30.8 Mbps||-32.5%||7.1 Mbps||0.6 - Grade B||38ms|
|Zen Internet (*)||28.1 Mbps||35 Mbps||-19.7%||9.1 Mbps||0.4 - Grade A||37ms|
With our full end to end testing we are obviously including the effects of Wi-Fi connectivity but given the vast number of people who actually do things like use Google Chromecast devices or stream films to their tablet including the Wi-Fi element does provide a much better reflection of public experience than probe based testing.
None of the full fibre operators which is in danger of being granted mystical powers to eliminate Wi-Fi effects and peak time congestion get close to having enough people testing to make it into this round up. Services such as EE Mobile (3G/4G) currently are edging towards making the cut for inclusion and if the 4GEE Home proves popular we may in time see them as a regular entry, but for now we will share that the day time quality score if 0.8 versus an evening figure of 1.4, suggesting that time of day may be having an impact on how stable speeds.