New Ofcom report slams UK broadband

New Ofcom reports highlights shameful state of broadband Britain
New Ofcom reports highlights shameful state of broadband Britain

A new Ofcom report slams the shameful state of British broadband offerings, claiming that many ISPs still regularly mislead their customers on advertised broadband speeds.

Ofcom states that the average broadband speed in the UK is 6.8Mbps (megabits per second) - which marks a 10 per cent increase in speed over the last six months - but warns consumers that there is still a notable disparity between actual speeds and those speeds advertised by ISPs.

The average 'advertised' speed is actually 15Mbps, which is over twice the real average speed noted by Ofcom.

Over half of Brits use services that are advertised to offer speeds over 10Mbps, yet a small minority of these users actually receive this service.

Virgin tops broadband league

ISP Virgin Media comes out top of the pack in Ofcom's latest report, with Virgin quick to criticise its competitors for misleading their broadband consumers.

Jon James, executive director of broadband for Virgin Media, said: "The gulf between what's advertised and what speeds customers get continues to grow. Whilst Virgin Media delivers more than 90% of the speeds we advertise, ISPs promising speeds of 'up to' 20Mb or 24Mb are delivering an average of just 6.6Mb.

"We remain concerned that people paying for fast broadband are still being misled and believe it is absolutely essential that consumers have all the information they need to make an informed choice. We once again urge the ASA to bring about a rapid change in the way broadband services are being advertised."

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said of the latest broadband speed report: "The research is still telling us that some consumers are not receiving anywhere near the speeds that are being advertised by some ISPs.

Ofcom is calling for a review of ISPs' advertising practises, "so that consumers are able to make more informed decisions based on the adverts they see".

Advertised speeds versus actual speeds (Ofcom)

  • BT's "up to" 20Mbps - average 7.3 - 9.1Mbps
  • Plusnet's "up to" 20Mbps - average 6.6 - 8.4Mbps
  • Sky's "up to" 20Mbps - 7.2 - 8.1Mbps
  • TalkTalk's "up to" 24Mbps - 7 - 8.5Mbps
  • Virgin Media's "up to" 20Mbps - 16.4 - 18.1Mbps
  • Orange's "up to" 20Mbps - 6.6 - 7.6Mbps
  • 02/Be's "up to" 24Mbps - 10 - 11.5Mbps
Adam Hartley