Once again, Ofcom has completed its annual study of fixed line home broadband speeds across the UK. The study has revealed that the average Internet download speed is now 36.2Mbps, a significant improvement over last year’s average of 28.9Mbps, with the average upload speed being 4.3Mbps.
So how was this data gathered? Well, back in late 2016, a company called SamKnows stared distributing specially modified routers to roughly 2000 homes around the UK. These routers have been logging the mean upload and download speeds of their designated broadbands, and now the results can be analysed.
Considering the population of the UK is now over 65 million, 200 homes doesn’t sound like much, and to be honest, it isn’t. The limited sample size means that the study is only useful for reflecting the performance of those who subscribe to the largest ISPs (i.e. BT, Sky Broadband, EE, PlusNet, TalkTalk and Virgin Media).
We can still use this data to compare the results to the previous year’s however.
In 2014, the average download speed was 17.8Mbps. In 2015, this increased by 28.1% to 22.8Mbps. 2016 saw another large increase, jumping up to 28.9Mbps, a 26.6% boost. Finally, in 2017 the average download speed was clocked at 36.2Mbps, a 25.3% increase on 2016.
So, as you can see, the speeds are generally increasing by a quarter each year, and this figure is only likely to grow in the coming years as more and more people move away from the old copper technology of ADSL and on to the newer, faster fibre. Not only this, but BT are looking at introducing a new broadband service called G-Fast, which promises to give households an average download speed in the triple figures, and in some cases are predicting that Gigabit broadband could soon be coming to some households.