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Where One Lives and Which ISP They Can Choose Tells the Story of U.K. High Speed Access

April 15, 2014

Where One Lives and Which ISP They Can Choose Tells the Story of U.K. High Speed Access

By Gary Kim
Contributing Editor

Rarely is anything related to the Internet truly understood by “average” metrics. In the United Kingdom, the “average” consumer fixed broadband download speed reached 17.8 Mbps in November 2013, according to Ofcom, the U.K. communications regulator..

But it matters greatly where a consumer high speed access customer lives, and which type of service provider provides the connection.

Perhaps the biggest differences were between users on cable TV high speed connections and those on telco connections.

Buyers of 120 Mbps cable access services got peak-time speeds of 108 Mbps.

Buyers of 60 Mbps cable connections got 58.4 Mbps at peak hours.

Buyers of 30 Mbps cable access services got peak-hour speeds of 30.2 Mbps.

Average telco ADSL speeds were 6.7 Mbps in November 2013 compared to 5.9 Mbps in May 2013.

In other words, cable connections were markedly faster, “on average,” than all-copper connections, and also faster than optical fiber connections.

In November 2013, the average actual download speed over optical access connections in urban areas was 46.8 Mbps, Ofcom noted.

So it matters whether one buys a cable TV high speed access service, or a telco fiber connection, or a telco all-copper access service.

It also makes a difference where a household is located. Urban services are faster than services in suburban or rural areas, for example.

Average download speeds in urban areas were almost three times those in rural areas in November 2013.

The average download speed in urban areas was 31.9 Mbps in November 2013, almost three times the estimated average download speed in rural areas of 11.3Mbps.

The average download speed in suburban areas in November 2013 was however 21.8 Mbps, an increase of 22 percent from May 2013.

In rural areas speeds grew from 9.9 Mbps to 11.3 Mbps.

So “averages” don’t mean too much. Who the provider is, and where a home is located, tells the story.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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