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British Broadband Slower Than Promised

Although broadband speeds have more than quadrupled since 2003, one researcher thinks providers need to be more honest about slowdowns

Broadband speeds have more than quadrupled since 2003 but many users still aren't receiving the level of service they think they are getting.

The average UK broadband speed is 2.03Mbps, according to research from independent broadband information site thinkbroadband.com. Similar figures taken from 2003 showed an average download speed of just under 500Kbps.

But speeds are often slower than broadband users expect, given that many providers promise speeds of 'up to' 8Mbps - which can vary based on time of day or the number of people who are online.

Andrew Ferguson, editor of thinkbroadband.com said broadband providers could do better at informing customers of speeds they can realistically expect to get.

He said not everyone understands that ADSL provides inconsistent connection speeds.

Ferguson also suggested new, bandwidth-intensive services such as IPTV have the potential to cause even slower broadband speeds. "A provider only needs around 1.5 per cent of users to make use of, say, the BT Vision product at the same time to use up all the capacity," he said.

He added: "The UK does not yet have the infrastructure to support millions watching EastEnders via broadband at the same time," because of the high cost of retaining spare network capacity for times when online traffic is high.

The research comes from 365,000 download speed tests carried out by thinkbroadband.com during the peak period of 18:00(GMT) and 22:00(GMT), from October 2006 to the end of January 2007.

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