New research from Ofcom suggests households with super-fast broadband packages from BT, Sky and other Openreach network resellers are less likely to suffer from peak time slow speeds than Virgin Media customers.
Today’s report covers speeds users actually got, as opposed to those advertised by ISPs, between May and November 2013.
During the period, Ofcom says customers on Virgin Media’s ‘up to’ 120Mbit/s package experienced “the greatest variation between peak-time download speeds and maximum speeds”.
The average peak time speed was measured as 108.8Mbit/s – 86% of the maximum speed.
In contrast, the report says customers whose ISP uses Openreach’s fibre network to provide their connectivity “were less affected by peak time contention.”
Average peak time speeds for customers on ‘up to’ 76Mbit/s fibre connections measured at 64.0Mbit/s – 96% of the maximum speed.
However the report shows that overall, Virgin Media’s ‘up to’ 120Mbit/s fibre customers get closest to the advertised download speed, though customers of rival ISPs enjoy better speeds than Virgin’s other packages and get the best upload speeds, achieving an average of 17.4Mbit/s.
Although today’s report suggests average speeds in rural areas increased from 9.9Mbit/s to 11.3Mbit/s during the period measured, it warns speeds are still “generally slower in rural areas because of the longer distances to the telephone exchange.”
Chief Executive, Ed Richards said: “The growth in superfast broadband and the rise in average speeds is testament to the investment in the sector. But the benefits are not shared evenly across the UK.
“There is more work needed to deliver wider availability of broadband and superfast broadband, particularly in rural communities but also in some locations within cities to enable wider access to fast internet.”