'Fast' broadband packages ?misleading'

91% of customers with 8Mbit packages are not getting average speeds above 6Mbit, Ofcom survey suggests
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The vast majority of UK broadband users are not enjoying the speeds they signed up for, according to a groundbreaking nationwide study by regulator Ofcom.

The Ofcom survey undertook over 60 million service performance tests across 1600 homes between November 2008 and April 2009. It found that less than nine per cent of customers paying for 8Mbit broadband packages actually received an expected connection speed of over 6Mbit/s.

Of those 8Mbit connection packages, 19 per cent of the surveyed sample actually received an average connection below 2Mbit/s.

A parallel customer questionnaire conducted by Ofcom found that speed was a key issue for broadband customers.

However, the majority of consumers said they were happy with their connection speeds, with only 26 per cent claiming their broadband packages have failed to deliver.

“It's very easy to go out and find out what the price of broadband is, but much more difficult to get a good understanding of what the observed speeds are likely to be,” said Ofcom CEO Ed Richards.

Elsewhere, the study concluded that the average UK broadband speed is 4.1 Mbit/s, with urban area averaging at 4.6Mbit/s and rural areas getting noticeably less connection speeds at around 3.3Mbit/s.

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