Market Research Sees Broadband Providers Falling Short of Speed Promise

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22nd June 2012 12:03 - Information Technology

A recent online Guardian survey of 3,000 Britons revealed that most users are still paying for better broadband access than they actually receive, with up to a 60% shortfall on advertised speeds.

The study simply asked Guardian readers to do a single line check and compare the result with the stated top ‘up to’ speed of their broadband package.

Watchdog Ofcom defines “broadband” as 2Mbps or over, which is the minimum bandwidth needed for video services such as the BBC's iPlayer. In total, 18% of the surveyants reported that their broadband lines fell under this measure.

Most users found they are paying for highly exaggerated Internet speeds, with an average of 7 megabits per second (Mbps) compared to their provider promise of 12Mbps.

The worst-performing ISPs were Sky and TalkTalk – customers reported up to 60% slower speeds compared to what their broadband providers had advertised. With Sky subscribers, their promised speed rates average 12Mbps, but respondents found they received a mere 4.8Mbps. TalkTalk customers were promised an average 8Mbps, but reported just 5Mbps.

Virgin subscribers found less of a discrepancy, however the contrast was still marked with a promise of 30Mbps while receiving 17.7Mbps.

Surprisingly it was BT, previously infamous for slow speeds, who was crowned top of the satisfaction poll for the least gap between advertised speeds and actual delivery. 

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