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Ofcom: UK broadband speed on the up as punters' packages swell

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Average broadband speeds in Blighty are on the up, communications watchdog Ofcom concluded in a report published this morning.

Of course, some might argue that it's impossible to define a national average given the disparity of broadband network connections across the UK.

Ofcom said that as of November last year, the country's average actual residential broadband speed stood at 7.6Mbit/s, compared with 6.2Mbit/s a year earlier.

Much of the increase was attributed to punters beefing up their packages by subscribing to faster broadband speeds with their providers.

The regulator added that 58 per cent of UK residential broadband connections had an "advertised speed of above 10Mbit/s".

That also means that 4 in every 10 broadband customers are still in the slow lane with their net connections, with speeds of 10Mbit/s or less.

Ofcom found that Virgin Media's fibre-based "up to" 50Mbit/s package had average download speeds of around 49Mbit/s, while BT's Infinity product recorded average download speeds of around 36Mbit/s. Infinity also had the highest average upload speed of all the ISPs – at 8.8Mbit/s.

“It is encouraging that speeds are increasing and that consumers have a real choice of broadband service. There is a real opportunity for consumers to look at the packages and deals in their area in order to receive the best value, speeds and performance available to them," said Ofcom boss Ed Richards.

“We can look forward to further increases in UK broadband speeds over the next few years. Most households in the UK can now access superfast broadband services, and these services are set to get faster still as Virgin Media aims to double the speeds of most of its cable services and BT aims to double the speed of its fibre-to-the-cabinet service from 40Mbit/s to 80Mbit/s.”

Richards had previously warned of low interest in "superfast" broadband in the UK.

As recently as November last year he said that cash-strapped customers lacked incentive from ISPs to upgrade their broadband packages to a speedier product.

You can drill down into Ofcom's latest numbers here. ®

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