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What Is the Average Broadband Speed in the UK?

Written by, Adavelli Muninder

Updated May, 6, 2022

If you’re not quite satisfied with your internet connection or you’re wondering whether you’re getting your money’s worth, the best way to find out where you stand is to compare it to the average UK internet speed. 

So, what is the average broadband speed in the UK, how can you test your broadband speed, and what can you do if you want a faster internet connection? 

Let’s dive in.

What Is Broadband Speed?

Broadband speed refers to how fast data is being transferred when uploading or downloading files via an internet connection, for example – streaming online movies.

Broadband speeds are measured in megabits per second (Mbps), and sometimes kilobits per second(Kbps) and gigabits per second (Gbps)– the higher the number, the better your internet connection. 

The speed of broadband mainly depends on the type of connection you’re using. There are four types of internet connection speed, including:

  • ADSL – A common broadband, ADSL, which stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, is delivered through copper wires of a phone line. This broadband holds an average of 20Mbps of speed.
  • Cable – Cable networks use coaxial cables to provide broadband, TV, and phone service. They can reach a download speed up to 1Gbps/sec which is significantly faster than both ADSL and FTTC, however, their upload speeds are often more restricted.
  • FTTC(Fibre-to-the – cabinet) – This type of broadband uses fibre optic cables to deliver internet services and reaches an average speed of 38 Mbit/s or 76 Mbit/s.
  • FTTP(Fibre-to-the-premises) – FTTP is another type of fibre broadband that uses an end-to-end fibre connection and provides speeds of up to 1Gbps/sec.

What is bandwidth?

The maximum capacity of data that can be transmitted or received through an internet connection is called bandwidth. Although often mistaken for internet speed, bandwidth is the volume of information that can be sent over a connection in a certain amount of time. 

What Is the Average Broadband Speed in the UK?

The mean average broadband speed in the UK based on Ofcom’s 2021 report is 79.1 Mbps, while the median UK average internet speed is 50.4 Mbps.

According to Broadbandchoices’ 2022 Internet Accessibility Index, the UK ranks fourth in broadband speed among the 164 countries and territories in the world. The group’s report found that the average download speed in the UK is 23 Mbps, compared to Denmark’s average of 69.4 Mbps, which ranked first. Upload speed, on the other hand, went up to 9.8Mbps.   

But, how does your internet connection speed fare compared to the nation’s average?

The fastest way to check your download and upload speeds is to find an online internet speed test. The software tracks and measures how fast your internet data completes a round-trip from the main server and back to it and runs several times to deliver more accurate results. 

What Is Good Upload And Download Speed in the UK?

The broadband speed that best suits your needs depends on a variety of factors, including the number of people that live in your household, how much each member uses the internet, and what they use it for. 

  • 1-2 people – A good broadband speed for a household that doesn’t have more than two people is 10-11Mbps. This type of speeds are offered in a standard broadband package, which is an excellent choice for daily tasks like browsing through social media, online shopping, and checking emails.
  • 3-4 people –The best option for a family of no more than 4 people is a fibre optic package that reaches speeds of 30–60Mbps. It’s great for streaming movies, watching online TV shows-for example on Netflix since they use a lot of data, and a good download speed.
  • 5+ people – If you live in a household with more than five people, then you’ll likely need a broadband package that not only has good coverage but speeds of  60-1000Mbps. This package will ensure that the connection won’t slow down even if everyone is connected to the internet at the same time.

What is a good upload speed for gaming?

A quality broadband speed for gaming is a must for all gamers and streamers. A higher speed will ensure that everyone in the household enjoys a better response time and make gaming sessions smoother. In addition, reducing lag, jitter and ping (all which affect internet speed) can be a benefit to gamers.

The recommended internet speed for gaming is at least 25 Mbps download speed and a 10Mbps upload speed for gaming.

What Affects Broadband Speed?

There are several factors that can affect broadband speeds, including:

  • Connection type – UK internet speeds depend on the type of connection you have. FTTH(the fastest), FTTC (most commonly used fibre-optic connection), or ADSL (cheaper and slower than fibre broadband).
  • Number of connections – If you have more devices connected to your internet, it will slow down the connection. Disconnecting the technology you’re not using at the moment can help speed it up.
  • Router location – The placement of your router can affect the signal, especially if it’s placed on the floor. Furniture and wall can also act as a signal block, so make sure the router is positioned in a clear location. As a result try installing two routers in your house to have better internet speed.
  • Viruses – Viruses can slow down your internet connection as well. The best way to counter this is to download antivirus software and regularly scan your device for potential malware. If you don’t want to pay for an antivirus software, you could try the free version of Avast as it offers excellent features that are free of charge!

What If Your Broadband Speed Is Lower Than Expected?

If you experience a slower internet connection than promised by your provider, you can:

  • Talk with your current provider – Your provider can advise you on how to improve your speed or offer a solution that can fix your connection issues.
  • Make a complaint – If your provider is not holding up their end of the bargain, you can make a complaint. According to the Internet Service Providers’ Association, providers should respond to your complaint in 5 working days and resolve the issue in 10 days.
  • Switch services – If you’re not happy with the service, you can switch providers. Before you officially cancel your contract, look into what other providers in the area have to offer to make sure you get a faster broadband package than the one you have.

Bottom Line

Knowing what is the average broadband speed in the UK can help you pick a good broadband package and make sure you’re not overpaying for the services. Average internet speed in the UK, however, is not a good indicator of whether your broadband is fast enough for you, especially if you’re a gamer or if you live in a household with more people.