Virgin tops UK's broadband speed charts

Virgin Media Logo

The average broadband connection speed in the UK rose by 22 per cent in 2009, according to

The independent broadband analyst, which claims to test thousands of real-world connections throughout the country every month, reported that the average speed rose from 3.67Mbps in December 2008 to 4.478Mbps in December 2009.

In terms of specific providers, whether Virgin Media.'s average connection speed of 7.426Mbps really does amount to "brilliantly fast broadband," as its marketing department claims, is a matter of opinion, but it did manage to beat all rivals to take the title of the UK's fastest broadband provider.

And it did so by a significant margin, too. Be Broadband and O2 which use a common infrastructure shared second place, but at a comparatively pedestrian average of 5.143Mbps.

Virgin also matched the year-on-year 22 per cent improvement, but was outdone by Plusnet with 28 per cent and BT with 24 per cent.

"The providers that show stagnation are those which have not rolled out new, higher-speed products during the past year," said Edd Dawson, the stie's editor.

"We will watch with interest as to how they respond to competition over the course of 2010."

We presume that list of providers includes AOL, which took the unwanted position of the UK's slowest provider at just over 2Mbps.

It was also the slowest for upload speeds at a plodding 0.315Mbps, trailing Be and O2, which topped the charts with 0.753Mbps.

Aside from the headline figures, also revealed that logging on between 6pm and midnight meant speeds were on average 12 per cent lower than after midnight.