Broadband News

UK broadband speed test results for December 2018

We have waved goodbye to 2018 but there is still time to take a look at the speeds we saw on our speed tester for the most popular broadband packages across the United Kingdom during December.

The top of the table is unsurprisingly dominated by full fibre services but the Virgin Media cable service and Openreach G.fast based services are still showing well. If Virgin Media was to increase its highest speed service to 500 Mbps and also increase the speed of its entry level service the provider which covers half the UK would be a real challenger to the emerging full fibre networks.

As is normal ADSL and ADSL2+ services prop up the bottom end of the table and highlight the simple message that if you have not checked what different broadband options are available to you, then it is worth doing so and for those paying the standard pricing with their provider even if they cannot get a faster broadband service they may be able to switch provider to save some money or negotiate a discount with their existing provider in return for signing a new contract.

UK Broadband Providers and Services in December 2018
(Ordered by Median Download Speed)
Smaller providers without enough geographic data samples are not included
All speeds in Mega bits per second - Mbps
ProviderQualityDirectionSpeed of bottom 10%Speed of bottom 20%MedianMeanSpeed of Top 20%Speed of Top 10%
Community Fibre FTTPB (1.0)Down 57.2 64.4 296.2 305.7 504.4 582.7
    Up 45.6 61.6 460.3 457.8 839.5 853.5
Hyperoptic Gigabit FTTPA (0.5)Down 161.4 165.8 280.6 336.4 451 573.1
    Up 181.9 190.7 227 333.8 456.5 648.3
Vodafone Gigafast FTTPA (0.4)Down 105.2 124.6 276.6 260.9 367.5 425.6
    Up 12.5 18.8 47.4 64.8 68.8 167.3
Gigaclear Gigabit FTTPA (0.2)Down 209.5 225.7 276.1 304.6 326.1 503.1
    Up 144.1 157.1 236.1 271.2 270.1 490.2
Virgin Media VIVID 350B (0.9)Down 223 229.7 255.5 265.4 289.9 325.5
    Up 11.9 15.1 20.1 25.4 21.6 21.9
Virgin Media VIVID 200A (0.6)Down 75.8 90.7 178.3 158.6 210.1 215.8
    Up 11 11.8 12.9 15.3 20.6 21.2
BT Ultrafast 1 & 2  GfastA (0.3)Down 94.7 103.5 132.7 151 204.1 249.8
    Up 18.2 24 29.1 30.8 41.8 45
TalkTalk UFO York FTTPA (0.3)Down 86.7 88.9 130.9 176.4 232 377
    Up 9.4 15.8 52.7 79.5 92.6 218.3
BT Ultrafast 1 & 2 FTTPA (0.3)Down 62.9 76.7 111.5 140.6 204.8 283.1
    Up 20 21.9 29.4 30.1 37.5 46.8
Virgin Media VIVID 150A (0.7)Down 66.1 76.4 110.1 108.6 140.1 152.7
    Up 7.8 9.7 11.8 12.2 12.6 20.2
B4RN FTTPB (1.0)Down 30.2 42.1 107.8 167.3 250.7 368
    Up 12 20.4 66.1 109.8 170.8 323.4
Virgin Media BusinessA (0.3)Down 90.5 93.9 102.9 146.2 171.2 239.2
    Up 12.7 15.2 26.2 61.9 68.8 91.8
Zen Internet GEA FTTPA (0.6)Down 22.1 28.6 72.6 83.8 146.3 172.8
    Up 6.2 8.7 18.9 24 28.3 31.6
Hyperoptic 150 Mbps FTTPA (0.6)Down 26 37.9 67.7 74.8 101.5 154
    Up 14.1 23.1 43.4 61.2 101.5 128.4
BT Superfast 2 FTTP 80/20A (0.3)Down 39.2 44.6 61.2 58.1 72.6 73.6
    Up 11.3 13.5 19.2 17.7 20.9 21.3
IDNet FTTC 80/20A (0.1)Down 39.5 44.4 61.1 56.8 69.3 72
    Up 9.4 11.2 16.3 14.6 18.3 18.5
KCOM Lightstream FTTPA (0.4)Down 16.1 29.3 57.9 93.3 121.1 239.8
    Up 4 4.8 18.9 25.4 32 33.2
Zen Internet FTTC 80/20A (0.1)Down 34.6 40 55.1 54.7 71.3 73.6
    Up 9.3 10.7 16.5 15.2 18.3 18.7
Virgin Media VIVID 100A (0.5)Down 24.5 36.2 54.5 64.1 103.9 107.9
    Up 5.5 5.6 5.9 6.8 8 10.9
BT Superfast 2 FTTC 80/20A (0.2)Down 35.8 42.6 53.7 54 68 71.9
    Up 10 11.5 16.4 15.3 18.2 18.6
Daisy Wholesale FTTC 80/20A (0.1)Down 24.7 36.4 52 51.5 70.3 73.8
    Up 9.2 10.6 17 18 18.5 19.5
EE Fibre Plus FTTC 80/20D (1.9)Down 36.3 39.4 50.9 51.1 66 69.3
    Up 9.8 11.3 16.8 15 18.2 18.5
Plusnet Fibre Extra FTTC 80/20A (0.2)Down 36.9 40.9 50.8 52.1 66.4 71.5
    Up 8.1 9.5 15.2 13.9 18.1 18.4
Vodafone Superfast 2 FTTC 80/20A (0.2)Down 36.3 40.5 50.8 52.6 65.6 71.6
    Up 9.3 10.8 15.8 14.7 17.6 17.9
TalkTalk Fibre Plus FTTC 80/20A (0.3)Down 33.6 38.8 48.2 49.8 62.4 70.4
    Up 8.3 10 15.7 14.5 18.2 18.6
Gigaclear 100 Mbps FTTPA (0.7)Down 16.8 27.1 47.9 50 76.5 82.3
    Up 16.2 24 40.7 46.1 75.5 85.6
Other Providers FTTC 80/20A (0.3)Down 20.7 32.1 47.2 48.6 71.2 74.8
    Up 7.9 10 16.9 15.5 18 18.4
BT Superfast 1 FTTP 55/10A (0.6)Down 12.4 17.6 34.6 32.9 48.8 50.5
    Up 3 4.2 7.8 9 15.8 18
KCom LightStream FTTPA (0.6)Down 11 18.1 46 77.1 131.4 200.1
    Up 4.4 4.7 14.2 24.1 29.1 33
BT Superfast FTTP 55/10A (0.6)Down 14.6 19.1 33.9 32.7 47.3 50.4
    Up 3.3 4.3 7.9 7.1 10 10.2
Virgin Media VIVID 70B (0.9)Down 12.6 16.5 31 35 55.4 68
    Up 3.6 3.9 4.7 4.6 5.2 5.4
TrueSpeed Communications FTTPA (0.7)Down 8.9 12.5 28.7 68.3 145 194
    Up 2.3 3.6 12.9 49 123.3 138.9
Zen Internet FTTC 40/10A (0.3)Down 10.9 16.5 28.1 25.8 34.8 36.5
    Up 2.8 4.1 6.3 6 7.8 8.9
Airband Fixed WirelessA (0.6)Down 12.2 17.5 27.9 27.3 30.9 38.2
    Up 1.3 1.8 2 6 5.3 11.1
Relish Fixed WirelessC (1.4)Down 5.4 12.1 27.8 27.1 40.7 46.8
    Up 1.3 1.6 2.9 3.6 5.2 6.3
BT Superfast 1 FTTC 55/10A (0.4)Down 11.4 16.1 27.5 27.6 38.5 45.5
    Up 2.3 3.4 5.4 5.5 8 8.8
Post Office FTTC 40/10A (0.4)Down 9.7 16.4 26.4 25.5 36.9 37.4
    Up 2.2 3.4 6.8 6.2 8.8 9
Vodafone Superfast 1 FTTC 40/10A (0.4)Down 11 16.3 26.2 25.1 34.8 36.8
    Up 2.6 3.6 5.5 5.5 7.7 8.1
Plusnet Fibre FTTC 40/10A (0.4)Down 12.1 16.5 25.9 25.1 34.9 36.6
    Up 2.3 3.4 5.3 5.4 7.7 8.4
Sky Fibre FTTC 40/10A (0.4)Down 11.4 15.9 25.8 24.6 33.5 36.1
    Up 2.7 3.8 5.9 5.7 7.9 8.4
TalkTalk Fibre FTTC 40/10A (0.5)Down 10.8 15.3 25.2 24.4 34.8 36.9
    Up 2.4 3.4 5.3 5.4 7.8 8.5
EE Fibre FTTC 40/10C (1.6)Down 10.9 14.9 25.1 24.1 34 35.8
    Up 2.5 3.5 5.4 5.5 7.7 8.4
Daisy Wholesale FTTC 40/10A (0.4)Down 10 13.3 23.2 23.7 34.8 36.7
    Up 2.4 3.7 6.5 6.1 8.7 9
EE Mobile 3G/4GC (1.4)Down 3.3 6.7 22.3 27.8 43.1 58.8
    Up 0.5 0.8 3.8 6.9 11.6 17.7
Other Providers FTTC 40/10A (0.5)Down 7.3 10.2 20.8 20.8 32.2 36.4
    Up 1.7 2.4 5.2 6.5 8.4 9
Virgin Media VIVID 50B (0.9)Down 2.3 5.8 20.1 24.1 45.5 53.6
    Up 0.7 1.3 2.5 2.2 3 3.1
Vodafone Mobile 3G/4GC (1.5)Down 4.2 7.6 17 26.2 39.6 61
    Up 0.7 1.3 4 5.8 9.7 14.5
Three 3G/4GC (1.1)Down 2.7 4.8 14.5 20.2 34.8 45.3
    Up 0.5 0.9 2.1 5.4 10.2 15.1
TalkTalk BusinessA (0.5)Down 1.8 3.9 12.8 18.4 34.9 38
    Up 0.4 0.5 1.5 4.6 8.7 12.4
O2 Mobile 3G/4GD (1.8)Down 2.5 4.2 12.1 17 26.3 37.3
    Up 0.5 1 2.4 4.6 7 12.1
O2 WiFiD (1.9)Down 1.8 2.5 9.2 18.7 27.8 62.9
    Up 0.4 0.9 1.9 3.4 4.9 9.6
BT WifiB (0.8)Down 0.9 2.1 8.1 10.3 13.1 16.7
    Up 0.6 0.7 2.9 6 7.3 8.4
Zen Internet ADSL/ADSL2+A (0.7)Down 1.4 2.8 7.1 8.3 13.7 15.7
    Up 0.3 0.3 0.6 0.6 0.8 0.9
Vodafone ADSL2+A (0.7)Down 0.7 2 6.6 7.4 12.3 14.5
    Up 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.9 1
Daisy Wholesale ADSL/ADSL2+A (0.6)Down 1.2 2.5 6.1 7.7 13.3 16.6
    Up 0.3 0.3 0.6 0.6 0.8 0.9
Plusnet ADSL/ADSL2+A (0.7)Down 0.9 2.1 6 7.3 12.5 15.9
    Up 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.9 1.0
Sky ADSL2+A (0.6)Down 1.3 2.5 6 7.2 11.9 15.1
    Up 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.8 1
TalkTalk ADSL2+A (0.6)Down 1 1.9 5.7 6.6 11.2 13.9
    Up 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.8
EE ADSL/ADSL2+B (1.0)Down 1 2 5.6 6.8 11.8 14.8
    Up 0.3 0.4 0.7 0.7 0.9 1
Post Office ADSL/ADSL2+A (0.7)Down 1 1.8 5.5 6.4 10.5 14.3
    Up 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7
BT ADSL/ADSL2+B (0.8)Down 0.9 1.9 5.3 6.7 11.7 15.2
    Up 0.2 0.3 0.6 0.6 0.8 0.9
TalkTalk Business ADSL/ADSL2+A (0.6)Down 0.8 1.7 5 6.3 10.9 14
    Up 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.9

For those not familiar with the quality score, this is a measure of the variance of the download speed during the course of the test, so those with low scores of 0.1 to 0.2 have very stable speeds, where as those scoring grades C and higher have wildly varying speeds during the course of the test. EE also scores oddly and this is due to some quirk of their hardware or network configuration that means people see a a very slow ramp up to the connections maximum speed, in terms of how the public would see this is web pages being slow to start loading but after things will speed up. Another way to think of the quality score is that for day to day web browsing a grade A connection even if half the speed of another service with a Grade C connection will often feel faster to use.

The Vodafone Gigafast FTTP service is slightly odd since it is meant to be a symmetric product but the upload speeds we are recording suggest that the upload is not symmetric, this may be due to contention on the upstream or something else such as Wi-Fi. With new areas such as Aberdeen and Peterborough starting to take orders the sample size should increase in the next few months and thus there we will be more data for us to look at.

On the subject of Wi-Fi in Q4 2018 only 48.7% of the speed tests in our database were done on a PC, phones and tablets now dominate which explains why our results can sometimes look slow when publishing the analysis. Given that a good number of laptops only have Ethernet with the addition of a dongle the number of tests seen using Wi-Fi may be in the 60 to 70% region, and this is bourne out by the speed of the top 20% on the most popular services being pretty close to the advertised speeds.

In the popularity race the ten most popular services we saw during December 2018 in descending order were Sky FTTC 40/10, BT Superfast 1 FTTC 55/10, Sky ADSL2+, BT ADSL/ADSL2+, TalkTalk FTTC 40/10, BT Superfast 2 FTTC 80/20, TalkTalk ADSL2+, Virgin Media VIVID 100, Plusnet FTTC 40/10 and  Plusnet ADSL/ADSL2+. 

Comments

With Virgin Media VIVID 350 Upload, why is the mean (25.4) higher than Top 20% and Top 10%?

  • burnduck
  • 3 months ago

Because there is a small number with high upload speeds, which skews the mean.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 3 months ago

Surely the number for Top 20% and Top 10% would equally be skewed as well?

  • burnduck
  • 3 months ago

Only if there is a wide enough number of people with the higher speeds

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 3 months ago

Your “advice” to ADSL2+ users is, as usual, hopeless in ignoring the millions on EO lines who will NEVR get fibre.

  • Dodman
  • 3 months ago

NEVER

  • Dodman
  • 3 months ago

There is not millions left on EO lines, it is not a small number at around 290,000 premises but this has been decreasing due to a mixture of roll-outs.

To say EO lines will never any 'fibre' service is simply wrong, some are, the frustration you probably have is no one is able to give a firm date for when you will see improvements

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 3 months ago

My ADSL service is from Talk Talk Business via The Phone Coop. My downloads were around 9.6Mbps - sometimes around 6. I 'had a mutter' to the Support Techies, and one of them turned up the wick to a stable 12.6Mbps, which was a substantial step in the right direction. What he did wasn't explained, but I noted increasing occurrence of 'line drop'. Then I changed the elderly ZyXEL P-660 ethernet-only combi-box to a D-link DSL-320B modem and supplied DSL cable( so far ) and now note a 13.6Mbps downloadery. I also have not yet noted any 'line drop'.

Too early to celebrate? Should I move house?

  • bilbobaggins
  • 2 months ago

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