BT tops UK fixed broadband customer experience rankings

Research from network quality of experience testing and monitoring firm pinpoints UK’s largest leading broadband provider as offering best quality of experience

BT is traditionally the object of criticism regarding the quality of service it offers its customers, yet the UK’s incumbent telco has topped the rankings in a MedUX survey on fixed broadband customer experience in the UK.

The fixed and mobile network testing firm’s 2024 benchmark report on broadband performance across the UK evaluated the performance of BT, Sky and Vodafone. Using an independently developed scorecard, MedUX evaluated the performance of the operators encompassing various benchmarks essential to fixed broadband service quality and user experience.

The report took a detailed look at scores, measuring a combination of service reliability, speed compliance, accessibility, throughput, streaming, data and over-the-top (OTT) experience results.

Overall, the research revealed BT not only leads in fixed broadband network responsiveness, but also provides the overall finest quality of experience (QoE), with a score of 4.59 out of 5. BT also achieved the most consistent experience (99.88% service reliability).

The operator was subject to more than 900,000 tests to its network, with findings highlighting customers will have the best data and OTT experience, and what was rated a great network responsiveness when it comes to using digital services, providing what MedUX regarded as the finest user experience.

MedUX also shows that BT’s fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) customers enjoy the highest average download speed, reaching 60 Mbps. Moreover, BT achieved the best performance for delivering web browsing (99.92 % success rate) and with gaming and streaming experience (99.78% and 99.99% success rates, respectively). This performance was consistent across the whole research duration of three months.

The report found Vodafone is the UK internet service provider most likely to match its service promises, with an average ratio of effective download speed versus what it advertised at 86%, a good mark, said MedUX, when benchmarked against the European average of 72% including comparable ISP counterparts. With less than a 0.5% difference in scores, Vodafone and BT shared the lead in network responsiveness and streaming experience. Sky was the second best and second most reliable experience, demonstrating the best performance for delivering social media services with a 99.88% success rate.

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In addition to its leading position in the UK, at a European level, BT provided the highest-rated experience benchmarked against comparable ISPs counterparts in countries such as Italy and Greece with predominant FTTC technology.

Yet despite these encouraging results, MedUX found that with speeds between 30 Mbps and 100 Mbps, performance of the predominant technology in the UK, FTTC (VDSL), the most common for ISP packages in the UK, was lagging behind European leaders. FTTC packages have a worse experience (up to 15%) compared with full-fibre/fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) ones in leading countries such as Spain, Portugal, Sweden, France, Romania and Iceland.

Even though the UK tops the charts in Europe in terms of growth in full-fibre deployment, according to FTTH Council Europe’s statistics, along with Germany and Italy, the UK still lags behind many European economies when it comes to coverage and subscribers (penetration). In this regard, MedUX said fibre investments in the country will be instrumental in providing an optimised and future-proof QoE, and competing effectively in the market.

MedUX’s effort to benchmark fixed broadband QoE across Europe – and its preliminary research around the UK’s FTTH full-fibre broadband packages with downlink headline speeds of 500 and 900 Mbps – shows promising results in line with European counterparts. It expects this technology will bring many benefits to users in the UK.

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