UK internet users are achieving an average broadband speed of just 3.6 megabits per second - well below advertised figures - according to a study from Ofcom, the regulator for the UK communications industries.
Ofcom ran 7,000 tests through monitoring units connected to 1,500 homes' broadband routers, resulting in more than 10 million separate tests of a range of suppliers' servicesover a 30-day period
The regulator said the speeds achieved were significantly below advertised headline speeds. Among consumers on the most popular "up to 8mbps" package (which over 60% of UK broadband consumers subscribe to), one in five subscribers receives an average speed of less than 2mbps and on average the actual speed consumers receive is 45% of the advertised headline speed.
The Communications Consumer Panel, said, "The research reveals a headline speed out-of-touch with the real-world speed experienced by consumers. We expect industry to react to these findings positively, and change their information provision accordingly."
Ofcom is attempting to improve transparency in broadband pricing in the UK. Last month it introduced a code of practice for ISPs. More than 50 UK internet service providers have signed up to the code,which aims to provide internet users with accurate estimates of the speed of their internet service.
Along with informing customersof the minimum and maximum speed they will obtain from the servicebefore they buy, ISPs who have signed up have also agreed to explain fair usage policies clearly and alert consumers when these policies have been breached.