Home broadband performance report
The performance delivered by broadband providers is holding up well during the COVID-19 lockdown period and speeds have withstood the increase in demand from home working, online learning and streaming. While being impacted by reduced staffing levels, providers have prioritised keeping the nation connected. Fixed, broadband and mobile providers have put additional measures in place to help vulnerable customers and pledged additional support to NHS workers.
The latest report is based on performance in November 2019 but Ofcom has also included measurements taken in the first and last week of March 2020 to assess the impact of COVID-19.
Key findings for 2019:
- Average home broadband download speeds continued to increase with cable and full-fibre services recording the highest average upload and download speeds of the services under test.
- The average speed of UK home broadband connections increased by 18% to 64.0 Mbit/s largely due to the increased availability/take-up of superfast and ultrafast full-fibre and cable services.
- Take-up of faster broadband packages continues to increase. Around 75% of home broadband connections are now superfast packages with advertised download speeds of 30 Mbit/s or higher, while 2% of UK lines are ultrafast packages with advertised download speeds of 300 Mbit/s or more.
- Upload speeds have increased significantly due to people migrating onto superfast and ultrafast services. Average mean upload speeds increased by 90% to 14.0 Mbit/s in 2019 due to growing take-up of higher-tier FTTC lines, upgrades to cable upload speeds and growth in take-up of full-fibre services offering very high upload speeds.
- FTTP connections have the least variation in performance. Among the FTTP packages included in the research, minimum speeds were between 96% and 98% of the maximum speeds.
- Minimum download speeds for ADSL2 at 87% of maximum speeds, while for ADSL1 the figure was 75%.
- Fibre and cable connections recorded the fewest average daily disconnections (i.e. the frequency of broadband service disconnections lasting longer than 30 seconds).
- Increasing rural superfast take-up is narrowing the gap between urban and rural broadband performance but average urban peak-time speed is still almost double that of rural.
- Performance varies by service and technology, but few differences exist between services that use the same wholesale input.
- Customers may be able to increase their wifi performance by upgrading to a new router.