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Broadband speeds drop by 35% during web's 'rush hour'

Average speed is just 6.2Mbps during 7pm and 9pm

UK web users see broadband speeds drop by an average of 35 percent during the web's 'rush hour', says uSwitch.com

As part of the research, the comparison site conducted two million broadband speed tests across the country between March and October this year. The tests revealed on average Brits get a net connection speed of 9.6Mbps between 2 and 3am in the morning. However, this drops to 6.2Mbps between 7pm and 9pm in the evening.

"It really is surprising just how much broadband speeds fluctuate at different times of the day, with drop-offs of almost 70 percent in some areas of the UK," said Ernest Doku from uSwitch.com

"This research may help to shed some light on why many bewildered consumers, who believe they've signed up to a certain broadband speed, never actually feel like their connection is fast enough.

Evesham in Worcestershire was named as one of the areas that suffered the most, with net speeds dropping by 69 percent from 15.5Mbps in the early hours of the morning to just 4.9Mbps during the virtual rush hour. Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset saw speeds drop from 9.5Mbps to 3.Mbps, and users in Wadebridge in Cornwall get just 2.1Mbps during peak times, compared to 4.1Mbps in the early hours.

Doku added that "although providers are working hard to upgrade the UK's broadband infrastructure, there is a long road ahead to ensure that everyone can enjoy a much more consistent service."

uSwitch.com's announcement comes just weeks after new guidelines designed to clamp down on the use of 'unlimited' and 'up to' in broadband advertising were issued.

The Help Notes, which have been created following a review of speed claims requested by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), state any maximum speed claims used in broadband advertising must be based on actual experience of users and ISPs must be able to demonstrate these speeds can be achieved by at least 10 percent of its customers.

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