back to article Brit broadband download speeds are still below the global average, hoots Ofcom

Wow. Pat yourself on the back, Blighty. The average download speed for fixed-line broadband in the UK almost surpassed the global average of 57.9Mbps, comms regulator Ofcom revealed today. Brit broadband download speeds collectively rose by 18 per cent over the last year to hit an average of 54.2Mbps, it noted. Upload speeds …

  1. NoneSuch
    Thumb Up

    On The Up Side

    After Brexit, the European average speed will skyrocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On The Up Side

      On the upside, its a damned site better than anywhere in the U.S. outside of a major metropolitan area. My broadband is 12mbps on a good day.... and this is as good as it gets for roughly 150 million people in a first world country. And we pay $100 US for it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On The Up Side

      Europe is not a synonym for the EU.

    3. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: On The Up Side

      I had no idea the British Isles would be leaving Europe when it leaves the EU. Thats gonna be a hell of a bang.

      1. GreenReaper

        Re: On The Up Side

        It will be the hardest Brexit!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No ADSL?

    It makes me sad to see that generic ADSL isn't included in this table as that is all that is available to some locations. For example, my local exchange still doesn't offer ADSL2, or any 21CN services as it's not 21CN eanbled, We're all stuck on old ADSL and according to openreach, there are "no upgrade plans". Stuck on ADSL 1.5Mb until USO delivers something I guess in 2021, or 2022 if BT get their way with their delay recommendations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No ADSL?

      As they do in other third world countries, forget the landline infrastructure and go to 3/4G and / or satellite.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No ADSL?

        Thanks for your input, BT, (the metaphoric drunk blocking the pub doorway).

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: No ADSL?

        Not just 3rd world. Was having a chat with my provider Swisscom last week about faster speeds, and their customer support suggested that since there was a limit to the speed they can get out of current infrastructure I could get faster speeds with a mobile connection.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: No ADSL?

          There is an industry around bad broadband here in the Lakes, solway communications was born out of BT refusal to upgrade ADSL cabinets. Solway isnt as cheap as BT but you speak to a local up the road in their call center when things go wrong and the latency is good. The tech is point to point wireless (using ubiquiti gear).

          Im lucky enough to have recently moved to Zen after BT *did* upgrade our local cabinet, almost out of the blue. The router (and the map pretty much agrees its likely) that the cabinet is about 430m away and we get 75/20 which is damn stonking.

  3. LenG

    Cooper would be nice ...

    I have FTTC. Unfortunately the line from home to cabinet is aluminium which means that even on a "fast" FTTC connection I can't get over 30Mbps. The only upside is that somehow I have a 10-iesh Mbps uplink, which my ISP doesn't actually offer with the slower FTTC

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is why we all have to run ad blockers...

    ...that bandwidth is too precious for some flashing bollox about dev ops and clouds to get in the way.

  5. DavCrav Silver badge

    Title is, let's be honest, a lie

    "Brit broadband speeds are still below the global average! hoots Ofcom"

    No they aren't, they are way above the global average. The correct way to do a global average would be to do the following:

    1) Choose 1000 people at random in the country;

    2) Find out the maximum real (i.e., not advertised) broadband speed possible for those people;

    3) Take the median.


    a) If the person cannot obtain broadband, they score 0. The method outlined in the article ignores such people, so inflates those countries with small but fast broadband penetration.

    b) I, for example, do not pay for the most expensive package, which would be more than ten times the speed. So I get a piddling 20Mb/s because here I don't need more, and wanted the cheapest package possible that allowed a bit of streaming. I used to have 100Mb/s, but downgraded to save money.

    1. david 12 Bronze badge

      Re: Title is, let's be honest, a lie

      And, if 'Upload speeds ... have become "increasingly important" to UK', then the UK is the only country where that is so. In the rest of the world, upload speeds have become decreasingly important, as on-premise web servers and mail servers have disappeared, and usage patterns have shifted from business to "watching Netflix" and other streaming video providers.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Title is, let's be honest, a lie

        you clearly do not have kids. Our three are always calling and video calling their mates. If the cat is having a mad hour then all three are almost live streaming to their mates. If you want to do any sort of work from home then you need upload too, the better half is a teacher and uses a VPN to access work stuff. We went from a 10Mb to 20Mb upload and instantly noticed, well the kids noticed they can now upstream 1080p anway.

      2. GreenReaper

        Re: Title is, let's be honest, a lie

        We night have more of them if there weren't a) crappy upload speeds, and b) blocks designed to make emailing from non-hosting IPs infeasible (in part due to spam - one big reason we can't have nice things).

  6. Lorribot

    2 months ago Openreach started laying FTTP cable to the post outside my house. I got excited (I get 13Mb/0.5Mb on FTTC at the moment) so contacted Openreach to find out when it would be available and was told July......2020.

    They are seriously rubbish if it takes 18 months from laying cable to actually supplying a connection.

    And the cable is still attached to the pole with yellow packing tape and not behind any trunking, I be surprised if it lasts.....

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the experience of switching provider is anything to go by...

    You can understand why no one bothers to switch. Try to switch under Ofcom rules, smoothly and successfully is like a random test of dropping your car keys over a drain in the street and counting the number of times they fall through, with all the hassle that causes trying to retrieve them.

    Ofcom's wretched unworkable policy of having to notify the existing ISP in order to leave a supplier due to mid-term contract price rises just doesn't work. These companies don't let you migrate if there isn't time to migrate, i.e you're near the end of your contract, even though this is against Ofcom's rules.

    If you fail to notify the existing provider you're leaving because of mid-term price rises to use Ofcom's "Gaining Provider-led migration", Sky Broadband t&c (as an example) state you can't notify them you are migrating away before the contract finishes, even if the switching date is after the contract finishes, i.e. your migration will be blocked, you must complete the full contract before looking to switch (and thus, start paying higher charges during the migration at least).

    Alternatively if you notify the existing provider your leaving because of mid-term price rises, and say, notify them 2 days before your contract finishes under Ofcom rules, they'll issue a new contract/contract cancellation 'combo' Openreach job ticket in succession, on the last day, which prevents the customer migrating because it ties up BTOpenreach's job ticketing system for 24 hours until the line cessation is in place. By the time your contract finishes, your line is dead, with all the costs that incurs regards getting the line reactivated.

    Ofcom's migration system is completely broken, in this regard, both Sky and BT (once they know you aren't staying around) exploit it for force extra setup charges on the user, by being "trigger happy" regards issuing a line cessation (knowing full well the consequences, i.e. it throws a spanner in the works), rather than allow a gaining provider led migration of the line.

    These companies know exactly what they are doing, these lines can be dead for weeks, if the customer refuses to pay the additional activation charges, while they raise a formal complaint through the ombudsman.

    So much fucking hassle, and Ofcom wonder why people don't bother to switch.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: If the experience of switching provider is anything to go by...

      simple answer is dont use shit providers. BT, Sky and TalkTalk are consistenly named as bad customer service companies over and over again. I bet the likes of A&A, Zen etc wont drag their feet or mess you about.

      You get what you pay for at the end of the day.

  8. Dave Bell

    So they lied.

    I recently switched to FTTC, same price and 5 times the speed.

    What's described as "Unlimited Fibre" means no usage limits.

    The maximum line speed they said was possible was about 130% of the maximum reported above from that ISP.

    The Minimum Guaranteed Speed, a much-hailed return to honesty introduced a year ago, is about 130% of what I am getting.

    There are web sites that report speed tests from near-neighbours. Results are pretty close to what I am getting, similar distances from the exchange and cabinet. Maybe those speedtests are from people who are getting poor performance, leading to a bias in those numbers. But I wonder just what Ofcom are measuring. And Honesty in broadband advertising and sales still seems thin on the ground.

    I have to remind myself that I am paying the same price for 5 times the speed, which isn't bad, but so many things haven't changed. Part of the feel of an internet connection is down to ping times, and even with the emergence of caching on the cloud, the site in the USA which sends you the more local URL for a huge file has much the same ping time as when I was connecting to the same city with a dial-up modem.

    Upgrading is worthwhile, but it isn't what the advertising suggests.

    Nothing is.

  9. N2 Silver badge

    In fairly rural France

    There is a fibre optic rollout throught the Vendee.

    A recently connected friend gets 331 down & 111 up, thats Mb/s. Whilst the roll of purple cable advances towards our village, we still get 9.8 Mb/s down from the 'old' ADSL line.

  10. TM2015

    Actual throughput is key, not just sync speed

    Since migrating to Voda for my home connection, while sync speeds have remained at 57-59, actual throughput at any time other than the middle of the night is terrible, often falling to 5-10mbps during mid evening. Suppliers get away with sync speeds while the pipes are so congested that actual performance can often be risible.

    Also such a shame to see the table mainly filled with BT or subsidiaries, Sky and Talktalk....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actual throughput is key, not just sync speed

      'Also such a shame to see the table mainly filled with BT or subsidiaries, Sky and Talktalk....'

      WTF? Who else would you like to see listed in an Ofcom table of broadband speeds for major UK broadband providers?

  11. Big_Boomer Bronze badge

    If we are behind it's because BT dragged their heels and had to be forced kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Only now, 15 years after every other country, is this dinosaur finally conceding to fit FTTP to new build houses. Until that creaking old crock gets broken up properly, they will carry on dragging their heels. They are a far cry from the cutting edge research led company of the 1960s and 1970s.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      FTTP is available to any builder on estates and has been by openreach since 2016 and for free too. It is the builders that are to blame for FTTP not being installed in new builds not openreach as the builders need to ASK for it to be put in (for free).

      1. BOBSta

        Disagree that it's the builders fault. The local authority should be mandating it in all new housing projects IMHO.


    No one ever mentions the port contention at the exchange. It’s akin to putting a set of traffic lights at major motorway junctions. It’s the thoughput of the ports on the switch that really matters, business accounts do better than home accounts. It’s all pretty much a con.

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