THE UK'S AVERAGE BROADBAND SPEED has reached double digits for the first time, British telecoms watchdog Ofcom announced today, with internet users around the country experiencing average speeds of 12Mbit/s.
The speed represents an increase of around 34 percent on the previous six months from 9Mbit/s, Ofcom said. This also means that the average speed has more than trebled over the last four years, from 3.6Mbit/s in November 2008.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said the rising average broadband speed emphasised UK broadband adopters' desire for faster downloads and increased bandwidth, especially for entertainment services.
"Our research shows that UK consumers are adopting faster broadband packages to cater for their increasing use of bandwidth-heavy services such as video streaming," he said.
"The increase in the average number of connected devices in UK homes is also driving the need for speed."
Of the 12 UK ISP packages included in Ofcom's report, Virgin Media's "up to 100Mbit/s" service was the fastest, with the research revealing average actual speeds of 92.6Mbit/s over a 24 hour period. Virgin Media's "up to 30Mbit/s" service never dropped lower than 26.9Mbit/s during the measured periods.
The figures also showed that BT is providing better speeds to customers than ever before, with the firm's 38Mbit/s service not dipping below 32.5Mbit/s.
However, its 76Mbit/s service never got higher than 68.1Mbit/s while, by contrast, Virgin Media's 100Mbit/s service sometimes went as high as 105.3Mbit/s.
Ofcom's research also found that, of the different types of broadband technologies available to UK internet users, cable broadband connections generated the greatest increases in average speeds in the six months to November 2012, up 58 percent from 10.4Mbit/s to 28.3Mbit/s.
Average actual speeds recorded for fibre connections also increased 30 percent, by 9.4Mbit/s to 41.0Mbit/s, during the same period.
ADSL broadband speeds also increased marginally by just three percent or 0.2Mbit/s to 6.0Mbit/s. µ