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Jump in UK broadband speeds

Jump in UK broadband speeds

Category: Broadband

Updated: 03/02/2012
First Published: 02/02/2012

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

People are enjoying noticeably higher broadband speeds than they were 12 months ago.

Research carried out by the communications regulator Ofcom in November found that the average broadband speeds in homes across the UK is 7.6Mbit/s.

The average speed has risen from 6.2Mbit/s in November//December, and 6.8Mbit/s in May 2011.

Ofcom said the increase was mainly a result of consumers moving onto higher speed packages.

In November 2011, for the first time more than half (58%) of UK residential broadband connections had a headline, or advertised speed of above 10Mbit/s, up from 48% in May 2011.

However, more than four in ten broadband consumers remain on packages with speeds of 10Mbit/s or less even though many of them would be able to get a higher speed at little or no extra cost if they switched package or provider.

The new figures come a few months ahead of new legislation that means that advertised speeds must more accurately reflect those that consumers are able get.

The rules require that speed claims should be achievable by at least 10% of the relevant internet service provider's customer base.

Where a significant proportion of customers are unlikely to receive a speed sufficiently close to that advertised, further qualifying information, such as the speed range obtainable by those customers, should be included in the advertisement.

In addition, any claim should be based on robust and reasonably representative data.

Responding to the figures, Consumer's Focus' Adam Scorer said the news was positive, but that there is still a very clear gap between speeds advertised and what is actually achievable.

"Customers expect products to do what they say on the tin. It is disappointing that broadband suppliers are still using advertising that can mislead customers," he added.

"We hope that new rules from the regulator coming into effect in April will tackle this and that enforcement action will be taken against any company which isn't upfront and honest."

See if you can get a higher broadband speed by switching Broadband suppliers

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