We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Broadband speeds 50% slower than promised

Ofcom report reveals ADSL ISP download speeds

More than 50 percent of ADSL broadband users in the UK can only achieve half the download speeds promoted in ISPs' ‘up to 8Mbps' adverts, a new Ofcom study shows.

What's more, the communications regulator's research reports that the highest download speed someone with an 8Mbps package can achieve is actually 7.2Mbps.

The figures have been released following an Ofcom study earlier this year based on 60 million performance tests in 1,600 homes.

Ofcom broadband speedsAccording to the research, less than 10 percent of households on ‘up to 8Mbps' deals could receive 6Mbps or more in practice, while 20 percent had to make do with less than 2Mbps. The average download speeds achieved in April were 4.1Mbps. However, this was an improvement on January, when average speeds were 3.7Mbps.

Test your broadband speed

The study also highlighted the broadband slowdown in rural areas. Ofcom said average speeds were 4.6Mbps in urban areas, compared with 3.3Mbps in rural areas.

There was good news for Virgin Media, however. Ofcom said average speeds on the company's ‘up to 10Mbps' cable broadband network were between 8.1Mbps and 8.7Mbps, twice that achieved by ADSL users.

PC Advisor Broadband price comparisons

OPINION: Broadband speed bores again

"As the Ofcom speed tests show, Virgin are the best bet for a package that delivers on speed and this is a result of significant investment in their network," said James Parker, broadband manager at MoneySupermarket. "People need to check how their providers fare when picking a broadband package, as the Ofcom test shows, the faster products can often be poor value for money."

Broadband news, tips and reviews

 ISP and package   Average speed
 AOL ('up to' 8Mbit/s)   3.3 to 3.9Mbit/s
 BT ('up to' 8Mbit/s)   3.8 to 4.2Mbit/s
 O2 ('up to' 8Mbit/s)*   4.1 to 5.1Mbit/s
 Orange ('up to' 8Mbit/s)   3.8 to 4.5Mbit/s
 Plusnet ('up to' 8Mbit/s)*   3.8 to 4.9Mbit/s
 Sky ('up to' 8Mbit/s)   4.0 to 4.7Mbit/s
 Talk Talk ('up to' 8Mbit/s)   3.8 to 4.6Mbit/s
 Tiscali ('up to' 8Mbit/s)   3.2 to 3.7Mbit/s
 Virgin Media('up to' 10Mbit/s) 

 8.1 to 8.7Mbit/s

IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 release date, price, features UK: Staggered release with PCs coming first this summer -...

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

How to get a job in design

IDG UK Sites

MacBook Pro 15in preview: better battery life, faster storage and a new discrete graphics chip may...