UK broadband speed less than half that advertised, say Ofcom

Typical broadband speed in the UK, on average remains less than half that advertised, according to regulator Ofcom.

The regulator body is pushing for new rules to ensure service providers do not mislead consumers.

Ofcom’s biannual study found that the average speed is 6.2Mbit/second, despite the average advertised “up to” speed of 13.8Mbps.

It is recommending the introduction of new rules for advertisers requiring them to cite typical speeds actually achieved by at least half of customers, “so consumers have a clearer idea of what speeds to expect”, it said.

It also says a maximum speed should be only be used “if it is actually achievable in practice by a material number of consumers”.

Ofcom’s own research indicated that consumers would welcome more information on broadband speeds to allow them to make effective and informed choices, it said.

It has passed its recommendations to the Advertising Standards Authority 9asa0, which is responsible for any changes to the regulations.

The study looked at 11 packages provided by the seven largest internet service providers, representing more than 90 per cent of residential broadband subscribers in the UK.

The research compiled results from more than 18 million separate performance tests in 1,700 homes during November and December 2010.

Results showed that next-generation superfast broadband services, which are becoming available to a growing number of households, were significantly faster than current generation services.

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