A broadband consumer survey Research firm Point Topic found out that only 4 percent of people subscribing to 'up to 16 mbps' packages actually reached that speed, further reinforcing the myth that 'up to' figures are not representative of line speeds that the average customer will encounter.
Pamela Varley, research analyst at Point Topic, said "There are many variables that affect broadband speeds, distance from the exchange, contention, line quality and so on. It is a challenge to be able to factor all these into a calculation that gives you a reliable idea of the actual speed an individual connection will achieve."
Figures released by Point Topic show that in general, the faster your package, the lesser the chance to reach the up to speed.
The data also showed that there are still 0.5mbps and 1mbps packages being used in the UK and unsurprisingly, the majority of their users have experienced speeds over and above what they could expect.
Point Topic also noted that amongst the big ISPs (Sky, Virgin Media, Tiscali, Carphone Warehouse , BT and Orange), the first one achieved the highest percentage of subscribers who achieved speeds in excess of 2mbps when purchasing 2mbps or more packages.
4000 respondents were surveyed by Yougov for Popint Topic in January 2008 to compile the report.