New Nielsen//Netratings research has revealed that the majority of Britons online (52%) are on a connection speed between 512Kbps and 2Mbps, while one-third are on a connection speed between 2Mbps and 8Mbps.
The statistics show that 'Super Fast' broadband (termed in the report as connection speeds over 8Mbps) is only as common as "the old dial-up speeds (connections no faster than 128Kbps)" – both being used by just 3% of Britons online:
Alex Burmaster, Internet Analyst, Nielsen Online, comments, “'Super Fast' broadband is aggressively advertised by the ISPs, some even referring to it now as 'standard', but it is an unrealistic pipe dream for the vast majority of Britons online.
Aside from how much you're willing to pay, your maximum speed is really dependent on the distance you are from the local phone exchange and the quality of its technology.”
Interestingly the research reveals that faster broadband speeds do cause people to spend more time online, with those on the fastest speeds (over 8Mbps) averaging 22% more time online than those on the lowest (< 128Kb):
“The idea that having a faster connection speed means you spend less time online, because everything loads more quickly, is a myth. Having a faster speed is like driving a Ferrari compared to an old banger - you want to spend more time using it and going to more places in it.
Having a faster connection speed means you can do so much more things online, download movies and play higher-quality games, for example. Even the mundane tasks become more attractive as it?s so much quicker and easier to get more of them done.”
Naturally the number of people on speeds over 8Mbps is set to increase as BT begins its nation wide rollout of ‘up to’ 24Mbps ADSL2+ technology towards the end of this month.
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