Ofcom to rank broadband providers on speed

Ofcom will rank the UK's broadband providers by speed starting next month.

The communications watchdog told our sister title PC Pro that it has teamed with SamKnows Broadband to measure speeds using special routers sent out to 2,500 people.

Ofcom said it "intended" to publish speed data broken down by internet service provider (ISP) in April.

Such speed rankings are often criticised by ISPs, which raise doubts over the methods used as well as sample sizes and test locations, but speeds advertised are often not what users can actually receive.

SamKnows has a performance monitoring network, which uses hardware-based systems to track data on broadband performance. The boxes run tests throughout the day on latency, packet loss, DNS query times and failures, web page loading times, VoIP call quality and speed tests, the group explained on its web site.

Ofcom recently gave BT freedom to set pricing for its next generation networks, effectively giving it the green-light to go ahead with the 1.5 billion investment.