UK broadband facts and figures for 2021

We have just got some important reports on UK broadband speeds, providers performance and complaints related to telecommunication services in the UK. 

This article highlights the key points of the research on the current broadband scenario of the UK – mainly speeds and performance.

Ofcom’s report on home broadband speeds and providers’ performance

Ofcom revealed the results of its annual broadband speeds research on 9th September 2021. The report was based on the speed tests conduced in 2500+ homes across the UK. 

All major broadband providers including BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, EE, Plusnet and Sky were tested during the survey.

Here are the key points:

  • The average UK broadband download speeds reached 50.4Mbps in 2021 (50Mbps in 2020)
  • The average UK broadband upload speeds remained at 9.8Mbps in 2021 (no change) 
  • At present, 97% of the UK homes can access broadband services that can offer 24Mbps+ speeds. 
  • Most of the homes in cities are within the reach of ultrafast broadband networks which can offer 100Mbps/300Mbps+ speeds.
  • Full fibre broadband (Fibre to the premises) coverage has increased from 18% in 2020 to 24% in 2021.
  • More than four-fifth of the UK homes currently use fibre based broadband services while 17% of the households still use ADSL broadband. 
  • The cable broadband provider Virgin Media still remains the fastest widely available broadband operator in the UK. Its M500 broadband (516Mbps) was found to be delivering an average speed of 471Mbps during peak time (8 – 10pm). 
  • By comparison, Openreach based ultrafast broadband services (145Mbps and 300Mbps) delivered an average speed of 145.7Mbps and 297.6Mbps respectively during peak time.
  • Three-fourths of the homes in cities and towns were able to get 30Mbps+ speeds, while 65% of the rural homes could get 30Mbps+ speeds.
  • Among the Openreach based providers, BT delivered the fastest average speeds in all tiers (36Mbps, 50Mbps, 67Mbps, 145Mbps and 300Mbps)
  • Virgin Media was obviously ahead of its competitors by offering much faster packages which delivered speeds between 106.8Mbps and 473.3Mbps across a range of packages.
  • When it comes to latency levels, BT broadband packages came with lower latency than Virgin Media and other providers’ packages.

Read Ofcom’s full report

Ofcom report on broadband, phone and TV complaints 2021

The report is based on the volume of consumer complaints received by Ofcom during Q1 2021. The study evaluates the provider’s performance by figuring out the total number of complaints per 100,000 customers.

According to the comparison of complaints among the providers, here are the findings:

  • Virgin Media broadband produced more number of complaints than other providers. (33 complaints per 100k customers).
  • Sky broadband and EE generated the least number of complaints in the quarter. (7 complaints per 100k customers)
  • BT (15), Plusnet (21), Vodafone (23), TalkTalk (24) are the other providers.
  • Virgin Media also produced the highest number of complaints (19) for its landline service quality. 
  •  Sky and EE performed much better in landline sector than its competitors with the least number of complaints (5 per 100k customers).
  • Unfortunately, Virgin Media TV service was the worst performer by generating the highest number of consumer complaints (17). Its competitors Sky (2), TalkTalk (5) and BT (8) generated less number of complaints.

Read the full Ofcom full report

Leave a comment