Research: UK broadband speeds on the rise

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Average download speeds increased by a quarter last year, according to research into the UK’s broadband speeds from comms regulator Ofcom.

Ofcom’s UK Home Broadband Performance research looks into the actual broadband speeds achieved by a sample of households across the UK during November 2020. The research, published as an interactive guide, includes data on download and upload speeds, performance by connection type and comparisons between urban and rural broadband speeds.

The latest figures show:

  • Broadband speeds continue to improve: the average (mean) download speed of UK residential fixed broadband services was 80.2 Mbit/s – an increase of 25 per cent from 2019 when the average download speed was 64 Mbit/s. This was helped by the growing availability and take-up of faster broadband packages.
  • Upload speeds increase by more than half: average (mean) upload speeds increased by 54 per cent to 21.6 Mbit/s, as more households upgraded to faster services, including full fibre connections with very high upload speeds. Higher upload speeds can help improve people’s experience of video calls, gaming and sending large files when working from home.
  • Rural households still get slower broadband, but the gap is narrowing: while average speeds in rural areas remain lower than in towns and cities, more than half (60 per cent) of rural households could get superfast speeds of over 30Mbit/s during peak hours of the day, compared to almost three quarters (74 per cent) of urban households.

Ofcom will be publishing a full report into home broadband performance in the autumn of 2021, including more detailed analysis and updates of the datasets it has just published.


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