Broadband users all over the UK have been testing their speeds and as a result of the 18,558 tests carried out in January on broadband comparison site Broadband-Expert.co.uk, the average speed in the UK is 2.95mbps.
The results varied enormously with the lowest download speed being 1.72mbps, through to the highest average of 6.07mbps, according to the study. Download speed describes the rate at which a computer downloads information from the internet such as e-mails, web pages, music and video.
The higher download speeds from some providers is partially due to them using Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line 2+ technology. Most providers provide their broadband connections through the more traditional Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line technology, said Broadband-Expert.co.uk.
"Despite ongoing pressure from Ofcom and various consumer groups, broadband providers are still misleading the public over broadband speeds," said William Harvey, Broadband-Expert.co.uk technical director.
Current advertising campaigns promise superfast broadband download speeds of up to 8mbps. Yet one provider came bottom in the test results with an average actual download speed of 1.72mbps.
"That is not superfast by any stretch of the imagination and is over 1mbps lower than the UK average," said Harvey.
The average upload speed was clocked at 296kbps or 0.296mbps. Upload speed is the rate that data is transferred from a computer to the internet and is very important for online gaming, uploading photos to sites such as Facebook, sending large e-mail attachments, and other activities which transmit information back to the internet from a PC.
"Broadband providers can confuse consumers by stating maximum broadband speeds that are often only achieved by a very small percentage of subscribers".
"Providers should state the average download and upload speeds achieved by their broadband subscribers this would give consumers a better idea of the sort of speeds they are likely to receive and would encourage providers to deliver better broadband products".