Average broadband speed is 3.6mbps when most are paying for 8mbps

12 January 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
Broadband speeds are failing to live up to their advertised rate, new research from communications watchdog Ofcom has revealed.

The study found that the average UK broadband speed is 3.6mbps (megabits per second), despite the fact that the average advertised rate stands at 7.2mbps.

The data has been compiled due to: "A lack of robust information available on the actual speeds that consumers receive and how these relate to both the maximum possible line speeds and the advertised 'up to' broadband speeds they pay for."

According to the research, 60 per cent of UK broadband consumers are on an 'up to 8mbps' package, but most are experiencing speeds of less than half that advertised.

Commenting, Ofcom's chief executive, Ed Richards said: "We want to see all Internet Service Providers meet the needs of their customers by clearly explaining what speeds they should expect and by ensuring that their networks meet consumers' increasing demand for higher speed broadband."

Ofcom tried to address this issue last year as it asked internet service providers (ISPs) to sign up to a code of conduct, which says that all ISPs should advise customers of the likely broadband speed they will receive.

However, this most recent study has highlighted the need for further action, Mr Richards added: "We have already seen the first steps towards next generation super-fast broadband in the UK and we expect further developments this year.

"Following our work last year, Ofcom will publish the next steps for the regulatory framework early this year."

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