Broadband users confused by download speeds

May 12, 2017

Many broadband users in the UK are getting only half the download speed they signed up to, whilst others are confused about exactly what they’re paying for.

Speed tests by Broadband Genie found that the average connection of broadband customers runs at just 45.8% of the speed they signed up for.

“Consumers are confused about their broadband connections, and even when they do get a handle on what they should expect, they are only getting half of the ‘up to’ speeds that lead the advertising campaigns,” said Broadband Genie editor Chris Marling.

Virgin Media and TalkTalk were the top performing ISPs tested, providing an average of 58.8% and 52.6% respectively of their advertised headline speed.

However, Broadband Genie said these scores were ‘artificially high’ because many Virgin Media customers had better connections than they actually thought.

Virgin Media customers who thought they were on a 1Mbps connection, for example, returned average download speeds of 2.9Mbps, nearly three times what they thought their line was capable of.

Virgin said: “We have been upgrading our cable customers’ speeds regularly to improve the service we provide.

“For example in 2015 we upgraded 10Mb customers to a super-fast 20Mb, and in 2016 we upgraded our 4Mb customers to 10Mb, both for free.

“This year we’re upgrading our 2Mb customers to 10Mb, so our entire customer base might actually find themselves on a speed much higher than they originally subscribed to.”

TalkTalk also defended its position, saying that it has “worked closely with Ofcom” to ensure the way it advertises broadband meets industry standards.


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