Broadband speeds up nearly 20% to over 50Mbit/s across UK

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Average broadband speeds received by UK households have risen by almost 20% in the last year, Ofcom has reported.

The average download speed has passed the 50 Mbit/s mark, rising by 18% in the last year to 54.2 Mbit/s, according to the regulator’s Home Broadband Speeds report.

The report, which compares the speeds of different broadband packages using data from monitors installed on people’s broadband routers, found upload speeds have also increased by 15% to 7.2 Mbit/s. Both download and upload speeds have more than doubled in the last five years.

Source: Ofcom

The study also looked at how different broadband packages affect people’s experience of streaming video content, with those using superfast connections or faster being able to stream Netflix films or shows in ultra-high definition (UHD) without buffering in almost every case.

Only one in 10 homes with basic, copper broadband were able to stream their favourite shows in UHD.

Ofcom said many of those still on standard broadband had were now able to get superfast connections, often without paying more.

Full-fibre packages, where fibre cables run all the way from the exchange to people’s homes, performed better than equivalent copper-based packages in almost every measure – including both download and upload speeds.

Older, copper-based broadband services are more likely to suffer a drop in speed during evenings when more people are going online.

Yih-Choung Teh, strategy and research group director at Ofcom, said: “Broadband comes in lots of flavours these days: copper, superfast, cable and full fibre. Which kind you choose can really affect your online experience.

“So we’re encouraging people to visit our dedicated Boost Your Broadband website, to find out how they could get faster broadband, for the same or less than they pay now.”

Chris Price
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