Broadband speeds dramatically fall in evenings

Download broadband speeds in the UK are on average 35% slower between off- peak and peak usage times, according to uSwitch

Download broadband speeds in the UK are on average 35% slower between off- peak and peak usage times.

Average download speeds of 9.6Mbps are only available between 2 and 3am, found the study based on two million speed tests from price comparison site uSwitch.com. At peak surfing time between the hours of 7pm to 9pm, average download speeds fall by one-third to 6.2Mbps, making the evening hours the slowest time of the day, it said.

Some regions experience an even more marked difference in speeds. In Evesham[3], Worcestershire, broadband speeds fall by 69% in the evenings to 4.9Mbps, while Weston-Super-Mare[5], Somerset sees a 64% decline to 3.4Mb/s. In Wadebridge, in Cornwall, speeds nearly halved from 4.1Mbps at off-peak times to 2.1Mbps at peak times.

Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, says: “It really is surprising just how much broadband speeds fluctuate at different times of the day, with drop-offs of almost 70% in some areas of the UK. Not many internet users enjoy the maximum headline broadband speeds offered by providers, and certainly not during the working week.”

The news follows a recent commitment of £530m from the government to provide 90% of UK homes with superfast broadband by 2015 and for everyone to have access to a minimum of 2Mbps.

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These worrying
trends are unfortunately also hitting the business domain as bandwidth-hungry
services such as video conferencing and streaming become more popular in
offices up and down the land. A survey of some of our 80,000 customers
pre-empted this earlier this year with almost a quarter or respondents (23.9%)
saying that managing bandwidth utilisation was the biggest challenge for
corporate network management in 2011. On top of the increase in bandwidth
sapping business applications, general employee internet surfing around this
time of year is also having an effect on bandwidth use.

Steve Demianyk, Channel Manager, Ipswitch Network Management Division

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