Broadband users cheated on speeds

Just one in five broadband users receive the speed that they signed up for.

Broadband users cheated on speeds

New research by Moneysupermarket reveals that only 21% of UK subscribers get the top speed, with 44% getting half the advertised performance.

Only 6% of subscribers to Sky’s “up to 16Mb” package get near this speed, with 78% only achieving speeds of up to 8Mb/sec. Over half of Talk Talk (61%), Orange (57%) and BT (51%) customers on an “up to 8Mb/sec” deal only achieve speeds of up to 4Mbsec.

Consequently, 30% of broadband subscribers feel they have been misled. “I urge all people to check what deal they are on and then ask their broadband provider for a free upgrade, so they may actually get a noticeable increase in their speed,” says Jason Lloyd,’s head of broadband. “Providers are aware in many cases they don’t deliver the speed they promise and so will be keen to appease unhappy customers wherever they can.”

Lloyd claims a simple solution to unsatisfactory speeds is to ask for more than you need. “With 44% of people barely getting half the speed they signed for, it may be worth opting for a package twice as fast as you want to reach your desired speed,” he says, though he acknowledges that for most of the UK this is probably not an option.

Moneysupermaket says the blame doesn’t lie solely with ISPs. “Line interference, the quality of wiring into and around your home, its distance from the telephone exchange and the number of people sharing the same provider connection in your area at the same time affect broadband speed,” says Llloyd. Though he did add that providers do not emphasise these factors, preferring instead to put them in the contract small print.

ISPs have yet to respond to a request for comment.

Speed map of Britain

Moneysupermarket commissioned broadband data specialist Sam Crawford to create a Broadband Speed Map of Britain which confirms that urban areas provide both the fastest connections and best deals.

“This is because of the reach of Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) and the penetration of the cable companies,” Crawford says. “If you live in a more remote part of the country, the reality is you will often be paying the same price as your urban counterpart but receiving a slower speed.”

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