Average broadband speeds up by 22%, says Ofcom

Thursday, 02 February 2012 11:40

UK consumers are achieving 22 per cent faster broadband speeds at home than they were 12 months ago, latest Ofcom research reveals.

In November 2011, the average actual residential broadband speed was 7.6Mbps, compared with 6.2Mbps in November-December 2010 and 6.8Mbps in May 2011.

This increase was mainly as a result of consumers moving on to higher speed packages, the watchdog said.

In November, for the first time more than half of residential broadband connections had a headline or advertised speed of above 10Mbps, up from 48 per cent in May.

But more than four in 10 broadband consumers remain on packages with speeds of 10Mbit/s or lower, even though many would be able to get a higher speed at little or no extra cost if they switched package or provider, Ofcom said.

However, previous reports by the regulator have highlighted discrepancies between advertised and real speeds.

The Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice have drawn up a new code, set to take effect from April, demanding that at least 10 per cent of customers can receive the advertised broadband speed.

Director of policy and external affairs at Consumer Focus, Adam Scorer, said that faster broadband must be followed up with honest advertising.

“There is still often a very clear gap between the maximum speeds advertised by suppliers and what people actually receive,” he said.

“People don't expect to pay for what is advertised as a fast lane service and get a slow lane delivery.”

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