Ofcom Reveals That Average UK Broadband Speed Is 3.6mbps

In a damning report on the state of internet nationwide, Ofcom found that the average UK broadband speeds are significantly less than half the ones advertised by leading UK internet service providers.

Most popular broadband packages offer up to 8mbps speeds but no service actually come even close to this theoretical upper limit; in Ofcom's survey of 1500 households over 30-day showed that one in five broadband customers had speeds of less to 2mbps.

Up to 8mbps deals make up nearly two thirds of the broadband market and Ed Richards, Ofcom's chief executive has said that "We want to see all internet service providers meet the needs of their customers by clearly explaining what speeds they should expect and by ensuring that their networks meet consumers' increasing demand for higher speed broadband. We have already seen the first steps towards next generation super-fast broadband in the UK and we expect further developments this year."

At 4.3mbps, the average maximum possible speed is only marginally higher than the overall mean speed and consumers in urban areas were better off - by an average of 15 percent - than those surfing in rural areas.

The survey revealed that users experienced the slowest internet speeds between 5pm and 6pm on a Sunday and slow connection is, unsurprisingly, the main reason for dissatisfaction with the incumbent ISP.

Late last year, Ofcom introduced a broadband speeds code of practice that encourages internet service providers to provide with an accurate estimate of the maximum speed their customers can expect when signing up to a service.

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Another piece research carried out by Channel 4 showed that out of 18 UK ISPs, O2 broadband provided with the highest broadband speed at 5.8mbps. Unlike fibre optic technology used by Virgin Media, DSL broadband speeds depend on how far your connection is from your local BT exchange.

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