UK broadband worse than we thought

Adam Oxford at

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UK broadband speeds are under a lot of scrutiny at the moment. First there was Ofcom's study of fixed line broadband which we reported on here, and now download delivery outfit Pando Networks has released a similar map of download speeds for the country.

It reveals an even larger disparity between advertised connection speeds and actual broadband performance than the Ofcom survey.

Pando may not be a name that you're immediately familiar with, but you may be using its software. It builds the download and install clients for games like Lord of the Rings Online, League of Legends and Maple Story, as well as back end services for music and video streaming sites like Blip.tv.

The survey data is built up from 400,000 Pando users from around the country. Which makes it interesting, methodologically speaking, to compare to the Ofcom data. That was measured at the other end of the pipe – how fast the exchange is sending bits out – and the Ofcom report explicitly warned that it might be overestimating connection speeds as a result.

That certainly seems to be borne out by the Pando map (below).

Average sync speeds in London, for example, are 8.8Mb/s according to the Ofcom study. Actual download speeds recorded by Pando users in the capital are closer to 4.5Mb/s. The best places to live, according to Pando, are Brighton (8Mb/s) and Ware (7.3Mb/s). The worst are Swithland (1.5Mb/s) and Stanford on Avon (1Mb/s).

Swithland is, for all intents and purposes, a part of Loughborough. Therefore older readers will understand that we already knew it was nearly the worst place in the world to be a PC gamer. (Disclosure – I grew up in Loughborough, and am therefore allowed to say this).

Pando also revealed details on the best ISPs for download speed. Be Broadband topped the chart with an average of 4.8Mb/s, while BT dragged up the rear with a 3.2Mbp/s average.


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