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Ofcom: Average UK broadband speeds up 28%

May 9, 2018

Ofcom’s annual Home Broadband Performance report reveals the actual broadband speeds that UK residential consumers experienced in November 2017. This study uses a representative panel of over 4,000 volunteers across the UK who have connected monitoring units to their routers.

Findings from the report include:

  • Average broadband speeds have increased significantly. Average download speeds rose by 28 per cent to 46.2 Mbit/s over the previous 12 months. Average upload speeds increased by 2Mbit/s to 6.2 Mbit/s. The main driver of these increases was people upgrading to superfast services.
  • The effect of network slowdown at busy periods was less marked in 2017 than 2016. Average speeds during the 8-10 pm peak period were 92 per cent of the average maximum in November 2017, compared to 86 per cent in 2016. Also, the proportion of lines that delivered superfast speeds (30 Mbit/s or more) during this busy period increased from 41 per cent to 54 per cent. However, there is still a significant difference between urban and rural areas – 59 per cent received superfast peak-time speeds in urban areas (up from 46 per cent), compared to just 23 per cent in rural areas (up from 14 per cent).
  • Of the packages compared, Virgin Media’s ‘up to 200 Mbit/s’ cable service achieved the fastest download speeds. This package averaged 193.6 Mbit/s over a 24-hour period, and 184.3 Mbit/s during the 8-10 pm peak period. ‘Up to 76 Mbit/s’ part-fibre broadband services recorded the fastest upload speeds, averaging 16.4 Mbit/s over 24-hours and during peak times.
  • Many households could receive better broadband speeds by upgrading their package, sometimes at no greater cost. Although superfast broadband is available to 93 per cent of UK premises, around two in five UK broadband households still subscribed to a standard ADSL service in November 2017. Standard services averaged around 10 Mbit/s, whereas average speeds of superfast services were over 70 Mbit/s. Most customers could upgrade to superfast services if they don’t already have them, sometimes at no greater cost.

Mobile experience

Ofcom’s second Consumer Mobile Experience report analyses data from more than 5,000 people who installed a research app on their Android smartphone. The data offers insights into how people use their smartphone, including the type of connection used to get online and the performance they experience when using apps or making calls.

The data was collected between September and December 2017. Findings from the report include:

    • People see using a smartphone for web browsing as more important than making calls. 92 per cent of people said web browsing was ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important, compared to 75 per cent for calls. Amongst 18-24 year-olds, just 65 per cent of users highlighted making calls as important.
    • Three-quarters of the time, mobile data connections were made using wifi, rather than a cellular network.
    • When consumers connected to a cellular network, 4G was available 81 per cent of the time. People in Wales spent significantly less time connected to a 4G network than those in other UK nations.
    • Consumers were able to connect to a 4G network successfully on 99 per cent of occasions when they were in an area with 4G coverage. 3G connections were successful on 93 per cent of occasions. Data connections on both were more likely to fail in peak periods than at other times of the day.
    • Most people (84 per cent) were satisfied with the overall network performance of their mobile provider, with satisfaction levels higher in England than in other UK nations.


Categories: Articles, Broadband, MNO, Mobile, Research