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March 24, 2014

Which? say Broadband speeds should be guaranteed

Broadband providers are being called to give consumers the broadband speeds and service that they are paying for as a new report from the consumer group “Which?” finds that 3 in 5 people are experiencing problems with their broadband.

In the survey, which was done online between the 8th and 9th January 2014 and interviewed 2012 British adults and found that 45% of people suffered from slow download speeds with 58% of those saying that this is a frequent problem or happening all the time for them.

It is not just broadband speeds which are a bone of contention to consumers, 27% of those who report loss of broadband had to wait two days for this to be resolved and 11% had no internet connections for a week or more.

Which? are wanting the broadband providers to “Give us Broadband Speed Guarantee” which is asking for broadband providers to give customers the broadband speed that they are paying for. Already broadband providers do give estimated broadband speeds and allow customers to leave if the speed they receive is significantly slower than the estimate they were given when they signed up, this is a voluntary code of practice that was set up by communications regulator Ofcom.

What Which? have a problem with is that the code of practice is voluntary rather than compulsory, they also believe that broadband providers should give more specific estimated broadband speeds for specific properties rather than just an estimate for the area.

The Executive Director of Which?, Richard Lloyd, said:

The internet is an essential part of modern life, yet millions of us are getting frustratingly slow speeds and having to wait days to get reconnected when things go wrong.

It’s less superfast broadband, more super slow service from companies who are expecting people to pay for speeds they may never get. Broadband providers need to give customers the right information and take responsibility for resolving problems.

Which? have set up a petition at which.co.uk/bbspeed for people to sign if they agree with their campaign.

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March 4, 2014

Slow broadband could take 20% off house price

Fast broadband connections to a property are increasingly becoming more and more important to homebuyers. It is thought that a home without broadband or with a slow broadband connection could be worth up to 20% less than a property with a good fast broadband connection.

Because the internet usage is continuing to grow in peoples everyday lives the need for fast and reliable broadband connections also increases. Many people now stream TV shows online daily such as via Netflix or the BBC iPlayer which require a good broadband connection to run well. There is also an ever increasing number of home works too who require good internet connections to work from home.
If people can’t perform these sorts of tasks at home then it could really devalue a property to them or even completely put them off their list altogether.

In this last week we have seen Rightmove, the online property search website, now include a speed checker link on the property details for each property that is listed with them.
Bernard Phillips from Rightmove, said:
We already offer a number of tools to help consumers make informed decisions about a property, and we’re pleased to be the first to add broadband speeds to this. Broadband has become ingrained in people’s lives and is an important factor when choosing a home.

The government’s target of superfast broadband for 95% of the UK by 2017 should hopefully help with this issue, but there will still be plenty of rural properties that will struggle to get to these sort of speeds. A superfast broadband connection is classed as a broadband connection of 24Mb or above.

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November 29, 2013

UK 25th fastest according to Ookla speed test results

According to the latest Net Index results of broadband speed tests done by Ookla, the UK is down in 25th position for broadband speeds.

The results are gathered from the speed test results that Ookla gather on their Speedtest.net service. What the results showed is that the average broadband speed in the UK is 23.55Mb, however despite not being close to the fastest countries average broadband speeds of Hong Kong at 71.03Mb we are still above the global average of 16.22Mb.

The fastest countries are Hong Kong (71.01Mb), Singapore (52.94Mb), Romania (51.40Mb), South Korea (47.50Mb), Sweden (42.69Mb).
Other “big” countries that joining the UK further down the list are France in 22nd place (24.72Mb), Germany in 27th (23.18Mb), United States in 31st (20.77Mb), Spain in 37th (18.93Mb).

The average broadband speed in the EU stands at 21.65Mb which means the UK is just above the average for the EU.

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- Filed under: Broadband Speeds
- Tags: average UK broadband speed, broadband speed test, Ookla
Author: Mark @ 9:02 am

October 18, 2013

UK enters top 10 for global broadband speeds

The UK has entered into the top 10 countries based on fastest broadband speeds as the average UK broadband speed hit 8.4Mb according to the latest “State Of The Internet” report from Akamai.

Akamai produce 4 “State Of The Internet” reports each year, one for each Quarter and it is a way to keep track on how the internet is developing globally, not just with broadband speeds but also to find out how users browse the internet and gather other data such as where attacks originate from.

Globally the average broadband speed was 3.3Mb for Q2 2013 which marked a 5.2% increase on Q1 and a 9.2% increase year on year. With the extensive roll out of fibre broadband across the UK it made for some quite impressive results, we showed an 11% rise from Q1 and a staggering 48% rises year on year to bring the average UK broadband speed test result in at 8.4Mb.
Still topping the charts was South Korea with an average broadband speed of 13.3Mb, this was actually a 6.4% decline on the previous year but still keeps them ahead of Japan who have an average of 12Mb broadband speeds.

The global average for peak broadband connection speeds is probably just as, if not a more interesting figure to keep an eye on too, this helps show the possible internet connection capacity that countries have.
Globally the peak average for Q2 2013 only rose 0.1% from Q1 and 17% year on year, up to 18.9Mb. However leading the way was Hong Kong with a blistering 65.1Mb, followed by South Korea with 53.3Mb and then Japan with 48.8Mb.

What we hope to see and have said for a few years now is that the UK should start to rise quite ell up the global broadband speed test charts as the continued fibre optic broadband rollout across the UK continues and with more and more consumers switching to fibre the average speeds for the UK should also continue to rise.

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April 16, 2013

2Gb Fibre broadband launched in Tokyo

A 2Gb fibre broadband service has gone live in Tokyo for a lucky few who live close to So-net Entertainment, a Japanese ISP who are part owned (58.2%) by Sony.

2Gb fibre broadbandNot only will the 2Gb service offer fibre broadband download speeds most of us can only dream of but the upload speeds will also be a massive 1Gb too. The service is called “light Nuro” and used a Gigabit-capable Passive Optics Networks (GPON) fibre network and is available for £33 per month which is the same price as BT charge for their Unlimited BT Infinity 1 package with line rental which offers speeds up to 38Mb.

As much as we can look on and be envious of the 2Gb fibre broadband, the users who can get it won’t be able to make much use of the full benefit of it at present due to limitations with their home computers systems, networks and wireless.

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April 9, 2013

EE to double 4G mobile broadband speeds

EE (Everything Everywhere – www.EE.co.uk), the 4G (or 4GEE as they like to brand it themselves) mobile broadband provider is set to double the speeds of their mobile broadband this summer in ten cities across the UK.

EEThe increase in mobile broadband speed would see the current average of 8-12Mb in cities be doubled to be around 20Mb which would be available for both new and existing customers with the headline speed up to a whopping 80Mb!

The ten cities set to get the 4G speed increase are Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.

EE (who are the company that runs the now merged Orange & T-Mobile) are aiming to have 1 million 4G customers by the end of 2013 and with more and more areas getting access to the 4G services there will be plenty of new customers who will be looking to switch to the faster mobile broadband.
Currently 4GEE from EE is available in 50 UK towns and cities including: Amersham, Barnsley, Belfast, Bingley, Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford , Bristol, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Chorley, Coventry, Derby, Doncaster, Dudley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Harpenden, Hemel Hempstead, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Lichfield, Liverpool, London, Loughborough, Luton, Maidenhead, Manchester, Newbury, Newcastle, Newport, Nottingham, Preston, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Shipley, Slough, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, St Albans, Stockport, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Telford, Walsall, Watford, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

By June they hope this figure to have reached 80 locations which should be around 55% of the UK population, by the end of 2014 they hope to have reached 98% of the UK with 4GEE.

The way consumers use data on 4G devices has changed from standard 3G phones according to EE, they say that 24% of all traffic now is for video which is significantly more than on 3G. It is because of things like this and consumers demand for data that EE are future proofing themselves as they estimate that data traffic will grow by as much as 750% by 2016 with an increase of 505 by the end of 2013 alone.

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4 out of 5 claim internet speed not fast enough for their internet needs

Findings from a recent poll found that 4 out of 5 internet users said that their internet speed was not fast enough for their current internet needs.

The poll which was run on the speed test site www.broadbandspeedtest.co.uk had 485 respondents with 81% of them (394) saying that their internet speed was not fast enough while just 19% (91) said that their interent speed was fast enough for their current internet needs.

However, as was pointed out the results might not really paint an accurate picture of the general view of users feelings for their interenet speed test as many of the visitors to the broadbandspeedtest.co.uk website are from users who may be experiencing problems with their broadband speed and as such will be naturally voting “No” on the poll.

It was only a basic poll that was run and didn’t delve deeper into what broadband speed each respondent actually had to gauge the feeling on what broadband speed users felt happy and at what speed users weren’t happy.

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January 29, 2013

Broadband fastest at 4am and slowest at 9pm

The fastest time to use your broadband is 4am with the slowest time being 9pm according to figures from a recent study.

The study, done by uSwitch.com collected results from broadband speed tests done over a 6 month period on their site which accounted for over 2.3 million speed test being performed to get the results. What they found was that the fastest broadband speeds were recorded at 4am when there are less people using the internet with speeds dropping over 28% compared to the slowest time of the day to use the internet at 9pm in the evening.

According to the survey, the UK’s biggest towns and cities (only the UK’s top 50 most densley populated towns and cities were included) have an average download speed of 14.83Mb at 4am with this average falling by 28% at 9pm to 10.72Mb. In some places the difference between 4am and 9pm can be as much as a 60% difference in average speed, this is the case for Dudley where the average broadband speed at 4am is a very fast 31.81Mb but just 12.62Mb at 9pm in the evening.

There was exceptions to these results though with Stoke-On-Trent having the average broadband speed change by just 0.7% between 4am and 9pm showing they have a very consistent broadband speed.

The uSwitch.com telecomes expert, Julia Stent, said:

This research shows the incredible strain that is placed on broadband when everyone logs on at the same time, particularly in
densely populated areas. And the big rise in streaming and downloading – be that films for our tablets, or games for our smartphones – means that striving to deliver consistent speeds will be a long, hard slog for broadband providers.

It certainly explains why some people may never actually feel like their connection is as fast as the one promised by providers when they signed. The obvious solution of setting your alarm at 4am to use the internet is far from practical. Instead, run an online speed test at home to check that you are getting the best possible service available in your area. If you think you could do better, consider shopping around for a new deal.

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January 23, 2013

Sky popularity causing slower Sky broadband speeds

Sky have admitted that their Sky Broadband service is running slow for a small number of customers due to Sky adding so many new subscribers to use their services.

Sky have said that it is less than 5% of their broadband customer base that are affected by the slower broadband speeds at the exchanges that have been flagged as having problems. It is specifically subscribers in Doncaster, Bristol and north Wales where users are affected but no other specific locations were mentioned in a report with TheRegister.co.uk.

A spokeswoman for Sky told the BBC:
Following a combination of an underlining increase in network traffic as well as a high rate of new customer additions, we are aware of capacity issues in a small number of exchanges.

We are working on adding new capacity to those exchanges as quickly as we can. We apologise to all customers who have been impacted by this issue.

Sky broadband customers who were enticed to Sky because of their promise: “We’ll never slow your unlimited broadband down, even at peak times” have in some cases found that their broadband speeds have plummeted during peak hours due to the capacity issues, many of these customers will be feeling they have been mis-sold and let down at the speeds they are connecting at.

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January 7, 2013

Broadband speeds not as important as broadband availability

The Policy Exchange think tank is calling on the government to stop focusing so much on broadband speeds and instead focus efforts on those who are still not online.

The report, titled “The Superfast and the Furious” (read the full report here) says that politicians and the government are too focused on providing very fast broadband internet connections when they believe that using tax payers money to help subsidise gaining these fast speeds is not the best use of the money.

The Reports wants the government to stop subsidising broadband infrastructure once the commitments are reached inn 2015 and instead the money should then be used to focus on the people in the UK who are not online. There are reportedly 10.8 million people who are not online with over half of these being over the age of 65. They also believe that small businesses should be helped to show them the possible benefits and opportunities that are available to them by using the internet.

According to a poll of 2,000 people and 500 businesses on behalf of the Policy Exchange  found that:

  • 64% of people think that good basic coverage of broadband for the whole country is more important than getting the very fastest speeds for some areas at the expense of others.
  • 79% think that every household should have access to the internet with 24% thinking that it is fair for people in remote areas to pay more.

The suggestion from The Policy Exchange is for the government to complete the roll out of superfast fibre broadband to 90% of the country by 2015 and have the universal 2Mb speeds available for the rest as minimum, along with an accelerated rollout of 4G wireless internet.
After this they feel that money should then be used to focus on making sure that everyone has access and that they are able to make the best use of an internet connection.

Chris Yiu who wrote the report said:
Successive governments have been right to invest public money in basic broadband connectivity. The government’s current spending plans will extend fast broadband to the vast majority of people. Any further public money should be spent on making sure we are putting this to good use. It’s far from clear that your taxes should help to pay for me to have an even faster connection.

There is no doubt that broadband, both fixed and wireless, makes a major contribution to the economy. But the right person to decide how much speed your family or business needs is you – not the government.

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