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UK Broadband is still ripe for rip-off as faster packages get slower speeds

Research conducted by broadband-only comparison website,, found out that the higher the speeds advertised, the lower the actual connection speeds in term of overall percentage.

The survey, carried out amongst 41,000 UK Broadband connections, found out that only 2mbps broadband users get value for money with average speeds of 1.8mbps, roughly 90 percent of the advertised specification.

Packages of up to 8mbps offer only 43 percent of the advertised amount with Virgin Media (almost certainly the non-cable version) and Toucan (owned by Tiscali) offering as little as 2mbps, a quarter of what is initially promised.

In this speed range, O2 and Be (which both use the same backbone) fared the best, delivering speeds close to 6mbps.

For speeds above 16mbps, Virgin media achieved the highest overall speeds with 10.4mbps, 52 percent of the quoted top speed; although the average for this speed band was a puny 8.6mbps.

Surprisingly, Be and O2 appear to have performed poorly even if Be's 24mbps speed and O2's 20mbps package regularly rank amongst some of the best offers on the market.

William Harvey, of Broadband Expert, says that contention ratios as well as other factors such as line quality and distance from the exchange, could explain why some provider fared better than others.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.