Wow. Pat yourself on the back, Blighty. The average download speed for fixed-line broadband in the UK almost surpassed the global average of 57.9Mbps, comms regulator Ofcom revealed today.
Brit broadband download speeds collectively rose by 18 per cent over the last year to hit an average of 54.2Mbps, it noted.
Upload speeds, which have become "increasingly important" to UK workers looking to punch their timecards while in their pyjamas, are also up 15 per cent to 7.2Mbps. Both download and upload speeds have more than doubled in the past five years.
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One-time DVD-snailmailer Netflix – which became a synecdoche for streaming services while our backs were turned – was used by the Brit regulator to measure broadband connections' performance while creaking under the weight of the capacity-hungry American streamer.
To get some insight on the UK's broadband issues, it commissioned tests from SamKnows that hooked up 4,918 volunteers to a monitoring unit connected to their router during November – and extrapolated data from that.
The fastest speeds recorded in the research were from from Virgin Media's VIVID 350 cable package, which Ofcom said hit average peak time speeds of 360.2Mbps. BT's 300Mbps full-fibre package was second fastest, with an average peak time (8pm-10pm) speed of 300.6Mbps.
Ofcom used the research as yet another opportunity to try to crowbar people out of the copper plumbing and shove them into faster broadband services – packages for which it noted were often the same price or cheaper than hooking up to Cu ducts.
The government's National Infrastructure Commission has called for full-fibre broadband to be deployed around the UK by 2033, and to be made available to 15 million Brits' homes by 2025.
The regulator has a speed checker here if you'd like to check your own connection.
Summary of average download speeds of all ISP packages
Ofcom has also provided a handy guide to average maximum, 24-hour, peak-time and minimum download speeds, by ISP package over 2018 – which we've reproduced in the table below.
|BT 36Mbps FTTC||27.6-30.2Mbps||26.6-29.2Mbps||26.5-29.0Mbps||23.7-26.6Mbps|
|EE 36Mbps FTTC||33.2-35.5Mbps||32.5-34.8Mbps||32.2-34.5Mbps||29.0-31.7Mbps|
|Plusnet 36Mbps FTTC||32.4-34.2Mbps||31.4-33.1Mbps||31.0-32.8Mbps||28.7-30.7Mbps|
|Sky 36Mbps FTTC||33.1-34.9Mbps||32.3-34.2Mbps||32.0-34.0Mbps||29.0-31.1Mbps|
|TalkTalk 36Mbps FTTC||32.3-34.2Mbps||31.6-33.6Mbps||31.4-33.4Mbps||29.0-31.2Mbps|
|BT 50Mbps FTTC||46.6-48.2Mbps||45.6-47.2Mbps||45.2-46.9Mbps||41.8-44.0Mbps|
|Virgin Media 54Mbps cable||54.8-54.9Mbps||54.0-54.5Mbps||53.5-54.3Mbps||50.0-51.5Mbps|
|BT 67Mbps FTTC||63.3-65.5Mbps||62.4-64.6Mbps||62.1-64.3Mbps||58.3-60.7Mbps|
|BT 67Mbps FTTP||73.4-74.8Mbps||73.1-74.4Mbps||72.9-74.2Mbps||71.6-73.2Mbps|
|EE 67Mbps FTTC||61.3-66.2Mbps||60.0-64.9Mbps||59.4-64.5Mbps||54.5-59.8Mbps|
|Plusnet 66Mbps FTTC||58.9-62.3Mbps||58.0-61.4Mbps||57.6-61.0Mbps||53.9-57.3Mbps|
|Sky 63Mbps FTTC||57.5-62.2Mbps||56.3-61.0Mbps||55.9-60.7Mbps||51.1-55.9Mbps|
|TalkTalk 63Mbps FTTC||62.0-65.6Mbps||61.0-64.5Mbps||60.5-64.1Mbps||55.6-59.4Mbps|
|KCOM 75Mbps FTTP||73.4-76.1Mbps||72.7-75.4Mbps||72.5-75.3Mbps||69.8-73.3Mbps|
|Virgin Media 108Mbps cable||108.1-109.5Mbps||106.0-107.9Mbps||105-107.3Mbps||96.7-101.4Mbps|
|BT 145Mbps FTTP||148.6-150.3Mbps||145.5-148.1Mbps||145-148.0Mbps||137.9-142.5Mbps|
|Virgin Media 213Mbps cable||214.4-217.9Mbps||205.5-210.3Mbps||201.1-207.0Mbps||177.7-187.1Mbps|
|BT 300Mbps FTTP||306.7-309.9Mbps||300.5-304.1Mbps||298.0-303.2Mbps||278.7-286.3Mbps|
|Virgin Media 362Mbps cable||381.4-383.8Mbps||361.8-368.2Mbps||356.0-364.3Mbps||295.7-312.1Mbps|
Source: Ofcom, using data provided by SamKnows.
At 44 per cent, the proportion of lines receiving an average peak-time download speeds greater than 30Mbps was lower in rural areas of the UK than in urban areas (61 per cent). Only 13 per cent of urban lines suffered a peak-time speed of under 10Mbps, while one in three (33 per cent) in rural areas could not achieve 10Mbps between 8pm and 10pm. ®
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