Broadband 'average' speeds revealed: see which providers have the fastest UK internet

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Broadband giants BT and Sky are among the companies that provide the slowest standard broadband, according to their self-published 'average' speeds revealed today.

All internet providers are required to publish the speed that more than 50% of their customers receive between the peak hours of 8pm to 10pm, now that a new ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has come in to force.

The speed of standard ADSL internet – which you'll get with the cheapest broadband deals on the market – have uniformly previously been advertised as being up to 17Mb, meaning downloads of roughly 2MB per second. But the average speeds now come in at 10Mb to 11Mb, with the likes of TalkTalk and the Post Office with the slightly faster speeds.

When it comes to entry-level fibre broadband, most average speeds now being advertised by the providers are clustered around 35Mb to 36Mb (around 4.5MB per second). That's much closer to the maximum 38Mb speeds previously advertised.

You can check your current speed by using TechRadar's broadband speed test tool. Make sure you're getting the speed your provider promised at the start of your contract.

Average broadband speed comparison

Below you can see how the major broadband providers compete when it comes to their average speeds. Again, it's important to note that these speeds are provided by the companies themselves.

Standard ADSL broadband

The speeds for basic ADSL broadband are so similar across providers that the difference you'd see between them in real-world use is likely to be negligible. But what this does go to show is that upgrading to a fibre broadband deal should mean you'll at least triple the speed of your home internet – and you can get one for as little as £20 per month from Vodafone.

Entry-level fibre broadband

BT and Virgin have always pitched their most affordable fibre broadband deals a little bit faster than the competition, so it's no surprise to see them rise to the top here by some distance. Indeed, Virgin Media's 54Mb average speed broadband (for £27 per month) is even faster than the 'up to 50Mb' it used to advertise!

Super-fast fibre broadband

We've decided to leave Virgin out of this chart, as its next-fastest broadband goes up to 108Mb, which would rather skew the graph. We wanted to concentrate on those so-called super-fast packages that used to be sold as up to 76Mb. BT Broadband is there again, as well as the less-fancied EE, while Sky is notable for being one of the slower providers for these more expensive plans.

So decided what internet provider you want to go with? Head on over to our best broadband deals comparison page to make sure you're getting the cheapest price.

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Adam Marshall

Adam was formerly the Content Director of Subscriptions and Services at Future, meaning that he oversaw many of the articles TechRadar produces about antivirus software, VPN, TV streaming, broadband and mobile phone contracts - from buying guides and deals news, to industry interest pieces and reviews. Adam has now dusted off his keyboard to write articles for the likes of TechRadar, T3 and Tom's Guide.