Broadband speed not reflected in price

27 June 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Consumers are not getting what they pay for when it comes to broadband speed, new research from moneysupermarket.com has revealed.

According to the comparison site's new broadband speed test, the average speed in Britain is just 2.97 Mbps with some consumers paying for speeds of 16 Mbps and receiving an average of 7.02 Mbps.

The research comes in the wake of consumer watchdog Ofcom's proposed code of practice which could potentially ban companies from advertising broadband speeds they are not realistically able to achieve.

The research involved carrying out more than 20,000 speed tests over the last quarter, which saw O2 emerge as the broadband provider offering the greatest actual speed, with Sky and Talk Talk close behind.

Speaking of O2's success, Rob Barnes, head of broadband and mobiles at moneysupermarket.com said: "O2 has sped its way to the top of the broadband league offering a great package.

"However, broadband in Britain is still lagging, especially when the second best connection is only half the advertised speed. Ofcom's voluntary code may be a step in the right direction, but it's a step being made at a snail's pace."

According to the speed tests, the best value connection for money is 2 Mbps, as the average speed achieved came out at 2.11 Mbps for as little as £10 a month. The speeds offering least value for money are those over 16 Mbps that cost an average of £18.60 but offer an average speed of just 7.02 Mbps.

Mr Barnes continued: "As our awards show, there are some great value packages out there and many can be purchased in a bundle deal. However, its clear people's browsing habits demand more speed, or at least to get what they pay for.

"Ofcom's code of practice can't come into force soon enough, although it's hard to see why the code is voluntary as advertised speeds are a mile away from reality. The broadband market is approaching a buyer beware mentality, and it's Ofcom's duty to correct this and protect the consumer."

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