Broadband.co.uk Blog: News

Regular Broadband-related news and comment from the Broadband.co.uk team.

All posts labeled News:

News stories relevant to broadband in the United Kingdom.

National Average Speeds May 2012

Average broadband speeds continue to increase through May

Posted on in AnnouncementsNews

May 2012 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test increasing in comparison to the levels achieved in April's result, coming in at 15.29MbAverage upload speed increased to 2.29Mb.

Virgin Media's average download and upload speeds have remained stable at 24.34Mb and 2.66Mb respectively. BT Broadband held second place and increased speeds again, with download speeds averaging at 14.56Mb and upload speeds at 3.75Mb. Fibre to the Cabinet provider Eclipse maintained third place with speeds holding steady at 12.94Mb for average download speeds and 2.48Mb for average upload speeds. 

The best performing non-fibre-based provider was again BE and O2 (who share a common infrastructure) in at 5th place with 6.44Mb average download speed over their Local Loop Unbundled ADSL2+ service. Plusnet came in at 4th place at 6.60Mb, a slight drop on last month.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for May 2012

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National Average Speeds April 2012

High speed broadband providers see significant speed increases, non-fibre broadband remains stable

Posted on in News

April 2012 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test continuing to increase in comparison to the levels achieved in March, coming in at a staggering 14.13MbAverage upload speed increased to 1.9Mb.

Increased speeds are likely in large part due to the start of Virgin Media's roll out of double or better speeds for cable customers, which will continue throughout 2012 affecting all but their 100Mb service. BT Broadband's Infinity 2 will also be having an effect on speeds. Virgin Media hold steady at first place, and average download and upload speeds have increased significantly by 5.16Mb to 24.79Mb with upload speeds seeing a small increase to 2.6Mb.

 BT Broadband take second place this month with their own significant speed gains. Download speeds are up by nearlt 4Mb this month, averaging at 13.4Mb and upload speeds are up by over 1Mb at 2.91Mb. While Fibre to the Cabinet provider Eclipse has dropped to third place, their average download speeds have increased by over 1Mb to 12.83Mb and upload speeds to 2.24Mb.

Plusnet came in at 4th place at 6.96Mb, a slight drop from last month. The best performing non-fibre-based provider was again BE and O2 (who share a common infrastructure) in at 5th place with 6.09Mb average download speed over their Local Loop Unbundled ADSL2+ service.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for April 2012

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Virgin Media

Virgin Media launch a new range of Collections

Posted on in NewsOffers

Virgin Media have revamped their TV, broadband and phone bundles, creating a new range of Collections. Each Collection offers super fast broadband of 30Mb or higher, Virgin Media's cutting edge TiVo service and a wide range of TV channels and on demand conent. The higher end Collections offer a great deal of additional channels and perks including an extra V HD box to view TV in a second room of your home. Each Collection has a range of additional options and upgrades available to suit a variety of customer needs:

Virgin Media Essential Collection
Virgin Media Premiere Collection
Virgin Media VIP Collection

Virgin Media TV, Broadband and Phone is also available without the bells and whistles with the new Starter Bundle:

Virgin Media Starter Bundle

The revamp corresponds with Virgin Media officially increasing their minimum download speed to 30Mb and their mid range packages to 60Mb. Customers interested in the 100Mb packages can take advantage of a price drop down to the level of Virgin Media's previous 50Mb range. That's twice the speed for the same price. Available stand alone or with a Virgin Media phoneline:

Virgin Media 30Mb Broadband

Virgin Media 60Mb Broadband
Virgin Media 100Mb Broadband

Virgin Media 30Mb Broadband plus Phone Weekends
Virgin Media 60Mb Broadband plus Phone Weekends
Virgin Media 100Mb Broadband plus Phone Weekends

Line rental £13.90 a month. Roll out of faster speeds is in progress and will continue throughout 2012.

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National Average Speeds March 2012

Virgin Media speed increases drive up average UK broadband speeds

Posted on in AnnouncementsNews

March 2012 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test increasing in comparison to the levels achieved in February's result, coming in at 10.73MbAverage upload speed increased to 1.48Mb.

Increased speeds are likely in large part due to the start of Virgin Media's roll out of double or better speeds for cable customers, which will continue throughout 2012 affecting all but their 100Mb service. Virgin Media's average download and upload speeds have increased significantly by 1.98Mb to 19.63Mb with upload speeds seeing a small increase to 2.48Mb. The trend sees Virgin Media's average download speeds increasing by 4Mb over the last two months.

Fibre to the Cabinet provider Eclipse maintained second place despite seeing a small decrease in average download speed to a 11.51Mb average and upload speeds to 1.77MbBT Broadband held third place and made speed gains, with download speeds averaging at 9.47Mb and upload speeds at 1.75Mb.

The best performing non-fibre-based provider was again BE and O2 (who share a common infrastructure) in at 5th place with 6.08Mb average download speed over their Local Loop Unbundled ADSL2+ service. Plusnet came in at 4th place at 7.27Mb, a significant gain on previous months, but this is likely due sign ups for their competitively priced FttC Plusnet Fibre product.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for March 2012

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National Average Speeds February 2012

Broadband speeds continue to rise over February

Posted on in AnnouncementsNews

February 2012 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test increasing in comparison to the levels achieved in January's result, coming in at 9.32Mb. Average upload speed remained stable at 1.36Mb.

Virgin Media's average download and upload speeds have increased significantly by 2.3Mb to 17.65Mb and upload speeds were stable at 2.43Mb.

Fibre to the Cabinet provider Eclipse made an impressive recovery from their January drop, increasing their average download speed to a 12.27Mb average and upload speeds to 2.09Mb. BT Broadband also see improvements, with download speeds averaging at 8.57Mb and upload speeds at 1.54Mb.

The best performing non-fibre-based provider was again BE and O2 (who share a common infrastructure) in at 4th place with 6.03Mb average download speed over its Local Loop Unbundled ADSL2+ service.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for February 2012

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National Average Speeds January 2012

Increase in average broadband speeds over January

Posted on in AnnouncementsNews

January 2012 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test increasing in comparison to the levels achieved in December's result, coming in at 8.21Mb. Average upload speed also increased to 1.31Mb.

Virgin Media's average download and upload speeds have increased to 15.33Mb and 2.46Mb respectively.

Fibre to the Cabinet provider Eclipse drop from last months speeds, with a 9.65Mb average download speed and 1.53Mb upload speed. BT Broadband remain stable this month, with download speeds averaging at 7.52Mb and upload speeds at 1.45Mb.

The best performing non-fibre-based provider was again BE and O2 (who share a common infrastructure) in at 5th place with 5.62Mb average download speed over its Local Loop Unbundled ADSL2+ service.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for January 2012

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National Average Speeds December 2011

Average broadband speeds remain stable in December, with BT taking a slight drop

Posted on in AnnouncementsNews

December 2011 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test generally maintaining the levels achieved in November's result, coming in at 7.58Mb. Average upload speed also remained stable 1.16Mb.

Virgin Media's average download and upload speeds have held reasonably steady at 14.24Mb and 2.23Mb respectively.

Likewise, Fibre to the Cabinet provider Eclipse match last months speeds, with a 10.59Mb average download speed and a slight increase to a 1.88Mb upload speed. BT Broadband take a 0.5Mb drop this month, with download speeds averaging at 7.64Mb and upload speeds at 1.3Mb.

The best performing non-fibre-based provider was again BE and O2 (who share a common infrastructure) who retained 4th place with 5.67Mb average download speed over its Local Loop Unbundled ADSL2+ service.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for December 2011

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National Average Speeds November 2011

Average broadband speeds stable in November, with notable improvements for Eclipse and BT

Posted on in AnnouncementsNews

November 2011 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test remaining generally stable compared to October's result, with a 0.45Mb increase to 7.48Mb. Average upload speed also remained stable with a 0.06Mb increase to 1.26Mb.

After an increase in speed last month, Virgin Media's average download dropped quite a bit to 14.30Mb, though upload speeds remain stable at 2.45Mb.

Fibre to the Cabinet provider Eclipse continues to see significant gains, rising to a 10.59Mb average download speed and 1.66Mb upload speed. BT Broadband also saw a healthy speed gain this month, with download speeds averaging at 8.12Mb and upload speeds at 1.44Mb.

The best performing non-fibre-based provider was again BE and O2 (who share a common infrastructure) who retained 4th place with 5.49Mb average download speed over its Local Loop Unbundled ADSL2+ service.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for November 2011

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National Average Speeds October 2011

Average broadband speeds drop in October despite gains for Virgin Media and Eclipse

Posted on in AnnouncementsNews

October 2011 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test drop compared to September's result, falling by 0.51Mb down to 7.48Mb. Average upload speed remained stable with a 0.06Mb drop to 1.20Mb.

Despite the overall downward trend, Virgin Media's average download and upload speeds saw significant gains, rising to 15.18Mb and 2.47Mb respectively. This increase comes as Virgin Media issued a press release boasting the ability to now offer 100Mb broadband to a third of UK households.

Fibre to the Cabinet provider Eclipse, who recently launched cheaper consumer-focus FttC broadband packages, also saw significant gains, rising to an impressive 9.27Mb average download speed and 1.42Mb upload speed.

Unfortunately almost all other ISPs saw their average speeds drop, perhaps due to the darker autumn evenings causing an increase in peak time congestion as more broadband users turn to their computers, on demand video systems and games consoles for entertainment.

The best performing non-fibre-based provider was again BE and O2 (who share a common infrastructure) who retained 4th place with 5.95Mb average download speed over its Local Loop Unbundled ADSL2+ service.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for October 2011

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Download speeds

New guidelines for advertising maximum download speeds

Posted on in News

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) have published guidelines on how Internet Service Providers should be describing their speeds in advertisements. Currently ISPs advertise using 'up to' speeds based on the highest speed available in the most ideal situation. Unfortunately, these speeds are rarely achieved by the majority of broadband lines, making advertised speeds misleading, and confusing many potential customers in the process.

The new guidelines - which ISPs are expected to be following by April 1st, 2012 - state that ISPs can only claim to provide maximum speeds that at least 10% of their customers can achieve. ISPs will be expected to justify their advertised speeds every 6 months based on actual usage data, ensuring that figures are kept up to date.

While this is unlikely to affect maximum advertised speeds for Virgin Media cable (already well within the suggested guidelines) and should have little affect on Fibre to the Cabinet solutions such as BT Infinity, the advertised speeds for telephone line broadband (ADSL) may well drop from up to 20/24Mbps down to 18Mbps, or even 13Mbps, depending on the ISP.

This variation is because speeds available for broadband supplied over telephone lines are very much dependent on the length of the line between the local exchange and the property. The longer the line, the lower the maximum download speed. Variation between individual ISPs may be due to how over-subscribed (highly contended) their service is and whether the product is supplied using older technologies (such as 'up to 8Mb' ADSL Max) in some areas.

Although this should allow better comparison between different broadband providers and their services, critics of the new rules point out that potential customers are still likely to be confused by the new advertised speed figures as most will be in the 90% that are unable to achieve the maximum speeds. A side effect of the new regulations means that some small proportion of users will soon be in the confusing position of having speeds higher than the advertised maximum.

Critics argue that broadband advertising should make it clear that speeds available over telephone lines are hugely dependant on the customer's individual line and that customers should be encouraged to enter their postcode or phone number for a personalised estimate. Broadband providers are already required to give an estimate of expected download speed before the customer commits to signing up, and comparison sites such as Broadband.co.uk's availability checker will give estimates of all the broadband speeds available to any particular line.

In addition to these new advertised speed guidelines, new rules regarding the use of the term "unlimited" in reference to download allowances will also come into play:

  • The term "unlimited" can only be used if the customer incurs no additional charge or suspension of service as a consequence of exceeding a usage threshold associated with a Fair Usage Policy (FUP), a traffic management policy or similar
  • Limitations that do affect the speed or usage of the service must also be moderate only and clearly explained in the advertisement (small print is not enough)
  • Controversially, traffic management policies limiting the performance of particular uses of the service (such as file sharing or streaming video) can still be maintained on an 'unlimited' product

While there are concerns that these new rules are not enough and are still open to confusion, it can still be considered a large step in the right direction to allow consumers to be able to make their choices with more accurate information available to them.

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