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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Broadband Speeds Are Barely Half What Consumers Pay For

30 July 2010 by Stephen McNamara

The latest research from Ofcom reveals that broadband providers are typically delivering just 58 per cent of the speeds which they are advertising.

The industry regulator has discovered that the average customer is now charged for a speed of up to 11.5 mbit/s, but receives just 5.2 mbit/s.

For over a decade UKFast has been focussed on the importance of speed online and as such we were relatively unsurprised by Google’s revelation that speed plays a part in SEO. Google webmaster’s blog states: “Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed – that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.”

However if we are to listen to the latest from Ofcom, it seems that irrespective of Google’s attempts to prioritise companies with fast page load speeds, many internet users are still facing a frustratingly slow experience when surfing the web.

Ofcom’s research has also revealed that the majority of customers questioned now consider broadband to be “as essential as a utility” and that users of Orange and BT broadband packages routinely receive less than one-third of the speeds they were paying for at peak times.

As a leading hosting provider, we understand the importance of having the right tools for the job. If top broadband speeds are to be achieved, companies need a firm foundation on which to build their network, and this is what the government has been promising the UK for some time.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is ultimately responsible for broadband, has recently delayed a commitment for a universal broadband service of 2 mbit/s until 2015, pushing it back from 2012.

The Government maintains, however, that Britain will have “the best broadband network in Europe” by the end of the parliament. Mr Hunt has promised that the focus will be on the next-generation of fibre networks, which BT has said it will deliver to two-thirds of the country by 2015.

Essentially it is still very much open for debate whose responsibility it is to keep the web running at top speed. However, at UKFast we are keen to grab the bull by its horns and work with web based companies, broadband providers and the government alike to create an infrastructure which ensures top speeds online.

If you want to find out more about how we are planning to build online Britain or apply for a £1000 hosting fund, check out the details of our ‘Growth Through Innovation’ fund.