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Ofcom discovers wide differences in UK broadband

There are significant differences in broadband download speeds provided by UK internet service providers, according to research carried out by Ofcom, technical partner SamKnows and research agency GfK.

While a majority of consumers were satisfied with the speeds they received, 26% said their speed did not match that advertised by the service The average speed received in the UK in April 2009 was 4.1Mbps, compared to an average advertised ‘up to’ speed of 7.1Mbps. Only 9% of those on 8Mbps packages received actual average speeds of over 6Mbps and around 19% received less than 2Mbps.

Cable company Virgin Media performed best out of the nine ISPs covered, with ‘up to 10Mbps’ customers averaging downstream speeds of between 8.1-8.7Mbps.

The survey was based on research in over 1,600 UK homes between November 2008 and April 2009.