UK users being short-changed on broadband speeds

Many British households aren't getting the broadband speeds they have been promised, according to new research which highlights how 

A new report from Which? found that broadband services in the UK are on average 51 per cent slower than advertised, highlighting the major discrepancies affecting users across the country.

The watchdog surveyed 235,000 users across the UK, and discovered that that on average, customers are paying for speeds of up to 38Mbps per second, but actually only receiving half that (19Mbps).

The research also found that the faster an advertised connection speed was, the slower the actual recorded results were found to be. This included customers paying for an advertised 200MBps connection, but actually only receiving average speeds of 52MBps - a mere 26 per cent of what they were promised.


Which?'s findings are especially timely as they come days before new advertising regulations are set to come into place on how broadband speeds are advertised.

Under the new ASA rules, due to come into effect next Wednesday, broadband providers can no longer advertise "up to" speeds which are available to just 10 per cent of customers. 

Instead, providers will need to include a median average speed for the service available to at least 50 per cent of households at peak time.

“This change in the rules is good news for customers who have been continuously been let down by unrealistic adverts and broadband speeds that won’t ever live up to expectations," said Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home services.

“We know that speed and reliability of service really matter to customers and we will be keeping a close eye on providers to make sure they follow these new rules and finally deliver the service that people pay for.”

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.