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Virgin Media delivers faster broadband speeds than DSL equivalents

UK broadband consumers are experiencing growth in average actual broadband speeds but the gap between advertised and actual speeds is growing, according to a survey by regulator Ofcom.

Average fixed-line broadband speed has grown by over 25% over the past year from 4.1Mbps to 5.2Mbps. Almost a quarter of headline “up to” advertised speeds were above 10Mbps in May, compared to 8% a year earlier. However, Ofcom found that the gap between headline speeds and those actually achieved had grown.

Cable operator Virgin Media’s up to 10Mbps and up to 20Mbps services delivered download average speeds twice as fast as DSL packages with the same or similar headline speeds. Virgin’s up to 50Mbps service was the fastest tested, delivering around 36Mbps in “single-thread” tests (downloading a single file) and 46Mbps in “multi-thread” tests (downloading multiple files). While the cable service delivered higher speeds at times of the day than comparable DSL services, it also showed a greater slowdown in peak periods than DSL.