The UK home broadband delivered average 54.8Mbps download speeds in 2018, a 17% rise when compared to its performance in 2017, shows the latest Ofcom 2019 report.
Average upload speeds increased from 6.2Mbps in 2017 to 7.2Mbps in 2018, while the total superfast, 30Mbps+ broadband connections increased by 8% to reach 66% in 2018, the annual study showed.
Speed performance by standard and fibre broadband
Average peak-times did not vary much, when compared to maximum speeds that connections are capable of, the study also revealed. On average, standard broadband offered an average 10.3Mbps download speed at peak times (8pm – 10pm).
By contrast, the speed performance of fibre services which include FTTC (fibre to the cabinet), FTTP (fibre to the premises) and the Virgin Media’s exclusive cable based fibre did vary much as they are delivered in different speed tiers.
The basic 36Mb service delivered 32.6Mbps speed, faster fibre 67Mb service offered an average of 59.3Mbps speed, according to the report.
Virgin Media’s 108Mb, 213Mb and 362Mb fibre packages deliver average speeds of 106.Mbps, 204.1Mbps and 360.2Mbps respectively.
Broadband speeds in rural and urban areas
There was also significant variance when comparing peak times by location, whether urban or rural. 61% of users in cities & towns can get 30Mbps+ speeds as they are well connected by fibre, while such speeds are available to only 44% of the rural users.
Over-all, 58% of the UK homes can access superfast and ultra fast broadband speeds.
In rural areas, one third of the households could not access decent broadband with 10Mbps speeds, the research revealed.
Broadband speeds and streaming videos in HD
When it comes to streaming TV & videos, fibre connections performed well for both HD and ultra HD videos, while standard broadband struggled to deliver videos in ultra HD, although its performance was reasonably good when streaming videos in HD.
Average speeds by UK broadband providers
Ofcom study also revealed the average download speeds delivered by leading broadband suppliers on 24 hour basis and during peak times. BT, TalkTalk, Sky, Plusnet and EE were grouped in same speed tiers as these providers offer their packages using Openreach network (FTTC and FTTP). Virgin Media offers different set of speeds, as it offers services using it own cable network.
The latest Ofcom report also included FTTP packages from BT such as 145Mb and 300Mb which enable users to compare the performance of more ultra fast packages this time.