Broadband News

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

Firstly apologies for skipping the results for November 2018, December proved far too busy to sit down and collate and write up the various figures and while January is still busy there is a little more time to catch up on key stats such as how the major providers are performing at peak times.

The big take away is how badly Vodafone is performing at peak times, the poor performance is not across the board for Vodafone customers and actually follows the fairly common pattern of new entrants to the fixed line broadband market with aggressive pricing and not scaling parts of their network and interlinks to cope with the ever growing amount of data the public are consuming. The October 2018 figures were slightly better and there was an improvement in performance during the day which is what one would expect on a consumer broadband service and looking at the November figures the day time drop was 29.9% versus an evening drop of 44.3%. It is possible that the very poor daytime performance in December is reflecting the busy period when households were off work and at home from school meaning the peak time period lasted for maybe a solid week or so at the end of December. Once the January figures become available will have an idea if this was a Christmas induced data blip - which if the case does show how hot the Vodafone Home Broadband network is running.

Off-Peak Tests Results December 2018
Off-Peak defined as midnight to 5.59pm
Median Average
Providertbbx1 Streaming Test
(1 download)
Multiple Download Test
(8 downloads)
% difference
between
download tests
Upload SpeedQuality
Lower is Better
Grade A = Best
Latency
BT 32.1 Mbps 35.7 Mbps -10.1% 7.2 Mbps 0.5 Grade A 37ms
EE 17.4 Mbps 20.5 Mbps -15.1% 4.4 Mbps 0.9 Grade B 46ms
Plusnet 25.4 Mbps 28 Mbps -9.3% 5.3 Mbps 0.5 Grade A 42ms
Sky 18 Mbps 24.1 Mbps -25.3% 5 Mbps 0.6 Grade A 44ms
TalkTalk 17.4 Mbps 21.5 Mbps -19.1% 3.9 Mbps 0.7 Grade A 50ms
Virgin Media 51.8 Mbps 81 Mbps -36% 7.3 Mbps 0.9 Grade B 37ms
Vodafone Home Broadband 18.5 Mbps 36.4 Mbps -49.2% 7.9 Mbps 0.4 Grade A 38ms
Zen Internet 32 Mbps 37 Mbps -13.5% 9.6 Mbps 0.3 Grade A 36ms

The quality score is looking at how stable the download speed is during the multiple download test. The observant will notice that we have moved from using six downloads to eight downloads, which in theory should give the speed test an even bigger slice of the bandwidth pie if there is congestion during a test, though looking at the figures this has made little to no difference.

Peak Tests Results December 2018
Peak time defined as 6pm to 11:59pm
Median Average
Providertbbx1 Streaming Test
(1 download)
Multiple Download Test
(8 downloads)
% difference
between download tests
Upload SpeedQuality
Lower is Better
Grade A = Best
Latency
BT 30.6 Mbps 34 Mbps -10% 7.3 Mbps 0.6 Grade A 38ms
EE 14.0 Mbps 15.4 Mbps -9.1%

2.7 Mbps

0.9 Grade B 50ms
Plusnet 24.1 Mbps 27.4 Mbps -12% 5.2 Mbps 0.6 Grade A 44ms
Sky 18.6 Mbps 25.3 Mbps -26.5% 5.5 Mbps 0.6 Grade A

47ms

TalkTalk 15.4 Mbps 20.3 Mbps -24.1% 3.7 Mbps 0.7 Grade A 50ms
Virgin Media 50.3 Mbps 79.9 Mbps -37% 6.3 Mbps 1.0 Grade B

38ms

Vodafone Home Broadband 14.5 Mbps 35.7 Mbps -59.4% 8 Mbps 0.4 Grade A 39ms
Zen Internet 34.3 Mbps 36.4 Mbps -5.8% 8.6 Mbps 0.3 Grade A 36ms

The Zen Internet figures buck the trend by being substantially better during the evenings and this is likely to be a factor of being popular with business and consumers i.e. their peak time is likely to be between 3pm and 6pm each day i.e. kids are home from school and offices are still working.

Correction 9pm The peak time multiple download figure for Virgin Media was listed as 102 Mbps, which was incorrect it should have been 79.9 Mbps. The 102 Mbps figure referred to the top 10% speed that we saw from the single thread (streaming) test.

Comments

@thinkbroadband The peak time percentage difference for virgin media looks wrong.

  • @timmay2
  • comment via twitter
  • 5 months ago

I never ever see any wilt at all with my ISP.

  • CecilWard
  • 5 months ago

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