Broadband speeds for UK households and small businesses are '51% slower than advertised'

22 May 2018

Research conducted by consumer group Which? has revealed that, on average, many UK households and small businesses only receive half the broadband speed they pay for.

The results, which were generated by 235,000 uses of a speed-checker tool provided by Which?, revealed that customers have been paying for speeds of up to 38 megabits per second (Mbps), but in reality have only been receiving speeds of 19 Mbps.

Which? also found that packages that offered ‘super-fast’ speeds of up to 200 Mbps often were only able to achieve average speeds of 52 Mbps – just 26% of the speed advertised.

The research also suggested that customers on standard packages, which offered speeds of ‘up to 17 Mbps’, only received an average speed of 6 Mbps – a third of what was advertised.

According to Which?, customers on broadband deals of 50 Mbps received similar speeds to what was reputedly advertised. These individuals received speeds of up to 35 Mbps – 70% of that advertised.

From 23 May 2018, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will no longer permit broadband providers to advertise speeds unless they can prove that the speed is received by 50% of their customers during peak times.

‘This change in the rules is good news for customers who have been continuously let down by unrealistic adverts and broadband speeds that won’t ever live up to expectations,’ said Alex Neill, Managing Director of Home Services at Which?.

‘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.’

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