UK Broadband Speeds: Less Than Half Advertised – Explained

When it comes to broadband in the UK there’s quite a grey area of understanding as to how it works and the speeds that you have. There are so many contributing factors that you may not realize exist when you find the order that you wish to place.

There are certain limitations that you may not always be told about when you are about to place your order. If you are looking at using ADSL broadband then some of them will be the quality of your line and also how far away from your local exchange you are. We have recently learned through an article over on Engadget by Vlad Savov that UK broadband speeds on average are less than half that they advertised.

We know (some of us through experience) that there are a few crazy things with certain ISPs that are a little bit ‘wrong’. We happen to know a lady who is a pensioner who has ADSL broadband, with a lot of providers there’s a usage cap and if you go over it you get charged. Well the lady that we spoke to about this said that she doesn’t even use the Internet that much but some of the students that stay with her do and that is how the usage was exceeded.

What happened next is the bit that we don’t necessarily agree with, she was moved up onto an ‘unlimited’ broadband package and the price of her broadband went up without her consent. This would have been more acceptable if they had told her, instead they just put it up and waited to be contacted when the price increase had been noticed. This is a bit harsh especially for a pensioner, you would have thought that the companies would make this very clear and perhaps talk to people about it before just bumping them up.

There’s a UK regulatory company called Ofcom who has conducted some research into the matter and they explain in depth quite a few scenarios so it’s really worth a read so that you can get more clued up. If you are a UK resident and wish to test your broadband speed then one that some of us at OSM have used in the past is Sam Knows. It’s free and all you need to do is enter your post code and/or your home telephone number into the required fields and then hit the search button.

When the results come back it will tell you your nearest exchange, and what packages are available to you (including cable) along with a whole heap of other things. Remember there’s a whole lot more to your broadband speeds that we haven’t included as we have tried to keep this as simple as possible.

Do you think that broadband ISPs should set your expectations a little better? Let us know in the comments section the problems and experiences that you have had.