Average broadband speeds increase by a fifth in a year
Average broadband speeds have jumped nearly 20% in the last year, according to new research by Ofcom.
The communications regulator has found that the average download speed people receive has passed the 50Mb mark – rising by 18% in the last year to 54.2Mb. The speed is also more than double the 22.8Mb that was the norm in 2014.
Upload speeds, which determine how quickly you can share data such as music and videos online, have also increased – up 15% to 7.2Mb. In 2014, the average was 2.9Mb.
The fastest speeds recorded by Ofcom during its research were from Virgin Media's Vivid 350 cable package. BT's 300Mb full-fibre package was second fastest and top for average peak-time upload speeds.
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Broadband too slow? Here are your rights
Major broadband providers such as BT, Sky and Virgin Media have signed up to a code of practice which requires them to offer the following to customers who took out their deal on or after 1 March 2019:
- "More realistic" speed estimates ahead of sign-up. They have to tell you what speed you'll get at peak times (8pm-10pm) before you commit, so you'll know what to expect when more people are online and speeds slow.
- A minimum guaranteed speed before you buy. They have to provide one whether you ask for it or not.
- The right to walk away penalty-free if speeds are still below the guaranteed minimum after 30 days. If speeds drop below the guaranteed minimum for three consecutive days and your provider can't fix the problem within 30 days, you can ditch your contract without being charged (and this also now applies to cable providers).
- The right to quit your TV contract too if broadband's slow and you got both at the same time. If you took out your broadband and TV at the same time, and as part of a bundle from the same provider, you will now be able to walk away from the entire contract.
See our Broadband slow? You've now more rights MSE News story for full info.
Check your broadband speed
You can do a two-minute broadband speed test to check how quick your current service is.
Broadband Choices' broadband speed tester* is tried and tested, and MSE forumites love Ookla's Speedtest.net. Others to try are those from uSwitch and MoneySupermarket*. Try a couple to get a range of results and perform tests at different times to get an idea of how speeds fluctuate.
Ofcom also has a 'boost your broadband' checker which tells you what speeds are available in your area. The tool also allows you to see what speed of broadband you'll need for what you use it for – eg, if you're a casual web browser, or someone who wants to stream HD videos.