Superfast fibre is finally starting to dig its heels in and have a real impact on the average UK broadband connection speed, according to the latest figures from Ofcom.
Ofcom reckons that the average UK broadband user – as of November 2012 – gets a healthy 12Mbps down their data pipe. Of course, the overall picture is still quite a case of haves and have-nots, and indeed it’s polarising even more as BT and Virgin Media’s super-fast rollouts continue across the UK (but not, naturally, in more remote areas).
The overall average is up considerably from the previous November, when it stood at 7.6Mbps. Indeed, it’s not far off double that amount.
Ofcom classes a superfast connection as one with a headline speed of up to 30Mbps or greater, and 13 per cent of UK residential connections now fall into this category (up from 5 per cent the previous year).
Ofcom notes that video streaming is helping to drive superfast adoption, and indeed with more folks now turning to Netflix and Lovefilm Instant, alongside the likes of iPlayer, there are obvious benefits to a fatter pipe (crisp HD streams with no hint of stutter).
Drilling down into the data for the superfast connections themselves, the average speed is now 44.6Mbps, up from 35.8Mbps which was the figure six months previous. This spike has been given extra pace by the doubling up of potential FTTC speeds, and Virgin’s push to up its customers’ connections as a response to BT.
It’s all good for the consumer, of course…
So which was the fastest service in the report? Virgin Media’s up to 100Mbps plan, which delivered an impressive real-world speed of 92.6Mbps over a 24 hour period on average (cue moaning about peak time traffic…).
BT’s FTTC, which is rated at up to 76Mbps, also managed a healthy average of 63.3Mbps. But then fibre is a far superior proposition to copper lines, of course (even though FTTC still relies on a short length of copper from the cabinet to house).