Broadband News

Streaming, peak and off-peak broadband performance for largest UK providers in April 2019

There are some changes in the results this month and it looks as if things have improved for a lot of Vodafone customers compared to the March 2019 analysis, or if you want to take an alternative view all those with poor speeds have given up or left the provider. The alternative view looks unlikely since we would expect migrations away to produce a more subtle change so on balance it looks like Vodafone has done something that improves performance for single download testing

Off-Peak Tests Results April 2019
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 value is Better
Grade A = Best
Latency
BT 33.7 Mbps 37.1 Mbps -9.2% 8.1 Mbps 0.6 Grade A 33ms
EE 18.8 Mbps 26 Mbps -27.7% 5.1 Mbps 1.1 Grade B 44ms
Plusnet 23.6 Mbps 27.2 Mbps -8.8% 5.5 Mbps 0.6 Grade A 38ms
Sky 20.5 Mbps 28.4 Mbps -27.8% 5.6 Mbps 0.6 Grade A 39ms
TalkTalk 19.6 Mbps 25.4 Mbps -22.8% 4.6 Mbps 0.5 Grade A 43ms
Virgin Media 56.6 Mbps 93.0 Mbps -39.1% 8.8 Mbps 0.9 Grade B 37ms
Vodafone Home Broadband 23.4 Mbps 30.4 Mbps -23.0% 6.8 Mbps 0.7 Grade A 40ms
Zen Internet 36.2 Mbps 39.5 Mbps -8.3% 9.1 Mbps 0.4 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 April 2019
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 value is Better
Grade A = Best
Latency
BT 34.1 Mbps 40.2 Mbps -15.2% 8.6 Mbps 0.6 Grade A 32ms
EE 18.2 Mbps 26.9 Mbps -32.3% 5 Mbps 1.1 Grade B 44ms
Plusnet 23.6 Mbps 27.2 Mbps -13.2% 5.2 Mbps 0.7 Grade A 43ms
Sky 20.5 Mbps 28.4Mbps -27.8% 5.6 Mbps 0.6 Grade A 39ms
TalkTalk 18.0 Mbps 24.0 Mbps -25% 4.8 Mbps 0.6 Grade A 45ms
Virgin Media 53.0 Mbps 91.2 Mbps -41.9% 6.1 Mbps 1.1 Grade B 38ms
Vodafone Home Broadband 20.9 Mbps 30.1 Mbps -30.5% 7.0 Mbps 0.7 Grade A 41ms
Zen Internet 35.4 Mbps 51.5 Mbps -32.3% 13.6 Mbps 0.3 Grade A 32ms

As we mentioned further up the quality score is based on the multiple download performance and is essentially the variance for the download speed during the test period, so the less variance the better i.e. an ideal speed test will reach the maximum speed within 100ms of the test start and hold that speed for the full 8 to 12 seconds of the test.

We do not split providers based on the technology used for delivery as the differences between the two download tests is more of a test of the core network capabilities rather than the last mile connection.

So other than the Vodafone fixed line services now looking like they are performing in line with other LLU operators, the other changes of note are:

  • Performance at EE appears to be worse, but not massively worse than the big LLU operators of Sky and TalkTalk
  • Zen Internet the evening median speed has jumped up and the single download figures while higher have not jumped as much. The daytime peformance is very good, suggesting that in the evening we are seeing the effects of consumer activity and maybe more people using the FTTP and G.fast services which are probably growing in popularity due to their price points.

As the UK is increasingly moving to a more full fibre diet for its broadband it will be interesting to see how these figures change over time, we are expecting that once the default speeds that people are buying is in the 100 Mbps and faster sphere that the performance levels of Virgin Media will be a lot more common.

Comments

"As the UK is increasingly moving to a full fibre"

maybe;

As the UK is increasingly moving to full fibre

or;

As the UK is increasingly moving to a full fibre future

  • nervous
  • 4 months ago

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