Average UK Broadband Speed Continues To Rise


Average UK broadband speed continues to rise

August 7, 2013

The average residential UK broadband speed reached 14.7Mbit/s in May 2013, Ofcom research reveals.

Ofcoms latest report into fixed-line residential broadband speeds shows that the average actual UK speed has risen by 22% (2.7Mbit/s) in the six months to May 2013, and 64% (5.7Mbit/s) in the year since May 2012.

The report also shows that the average broadband speed has more than quadrupled since Ofcom first began publishing speeds data in November 2008 an increase of 309% (or 11.1Mbit/s).

Take-up of superfast1 services and providers automatically upgrading customers on to faster broadband packages continued to drive the increase in the national average speed.2

Table One: Average actual UK fixed-line residential broadband speeds since November 20083

Average UK broadband speed continues to rise

Superfast take-up and network upgrades driving speeds increase

The proportion of broadband connections classed as superfast that is, offering headline speeds of 30Mbit/s or more is increasing. By May 2013, 19% of residential broadband connections were superfast, up from 14% in November 2012 and more than doubling from 8% over the course of the last year.

By May 2013, 86% of UK fixed-line residential broadband users were on packages with advertised speeds above up to 10Mbit/s, up from 76% six months ago and 68% in May 2012.

The move to higher speeds is partly down to Virgin Medias network upgrade to double the speeds of most of its cable broadband customers.As a result, the average speed on cable has nearly doubled over the last year from 18.0Mbit/s to 34.9Mbit/s.

Consumers are also choosing to migrate to faster fibre packages. BT reported that it had 1.3 million fibre broadband connections at the end of March 2013, up from around 550,000 a year earlier.4 In May 2013, the average fibre-based connection speed was 43.6Mbit/s, up by over a third (38%) over the year.

Comparisons between ISPs download and upload speeds

Todays report includes speeds measurements for three additional ISP packages Virgin Medias up to 120Mbit/s cable service and Plusnets up to 76Mbit/s and up to 38Mbit/s fibre-to-the-cabinet services. All average speeds are measured over a 24-hour period.

Of the 14 ISP packages included in the report, Virgin Medias up to 120Mbit/s service achieved the fastest download speeds, an average of 112.6Mbit/s. The average download speed on Virgin Medias up to 100Mbit/s was 88.8Mbit/s.

Of the other superfast packages included in the research, BTs up to 76Mbit/s service delivered average speeds of 62.1Mbit/s, while Plusnets up to 76Mbit/s achieved average speeds of 61.0Mbit/s. Virgin Medias up to 60Mbit/s package generated average speeds of 57.5Mbits.

Plusnets up to 38Mbit/s package achieved average speeds of 33.7Mbit/s, compared with BTs up to 38Mbit/s service, which delivered 32.6Mbit/s on average. The average download speed on Virgin Medias up to 30Mbit/s service was 30.0Mbit/s.