Ofcom investigates real UK internet speeds

Broadband speeds

Ofcom is asking consumers to volunteer for a research project to discover what broadband speeds users are really getting at home, compared to those advertised.

Last year the communications regulator, along with research firm SamKnows, discovered that whilst ISPs claimed average speeds were 7.1Mbps, in April 2009 they were actually only 4.1Mbps.

"What started out as a project to monitor and report on the UK's broadband connectivity in general instead highlighted that a clear discrepancy exists between what the ISPs are saying and what the end consumer is actually receiving," said Alex Salter, chief executive (CEO) of SamKnows, in a statement.

"What we're looking to measure in the forthcoming project is how this ISP performance will improve as consumers switch to services which are being advertised as significantly faster."

So far the research has taken over 60 million readings from 1,600 homes but now the two firms want to extend the project for another two years, reporting bi-annually on its findings.

Volunteers for the project will be provided with a "White Box" from SamKnows to monitor the ISP's network but it will not track the home network or web traffic. Users will also be able to have access to monitor what speeds they receive.

If you want to be part of the project click here and for more information watch the video below.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.