A new report has found that UK consumers are still being shortchanged when it comes to broadband download speeds

A new industry report has revealed that consumers in the UK are receiving broadband speeds that are less than half of the advertised rates. 

A study by industry watchdog Which? Revealed that the average broadband speed in the UK is 51 per cent lower than the advertised speed. In the study, Which? found that UK consumers were paying for average speeds of 38Mbps but receiving actual speeds of less than 19Mbps. 

New legislation governing the way in which ISPs can advertise their speeds comes into effect on Wednesday.  

"This change in the rules is good news for customers, who have been continuously been let down by unrealistic adverts and broadband speeds that won’t ever live up to expectations. ‘We know that speed and reliability of service really matter to customers, and we will be keeping a close eye on providers to make sure they follow these new rules and finally deliver the service that people pay for, said Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home services.

The UK is starting to sharpen its focus on gigabit capable broadband services, with a host of companies beginning to rollout full fibre networks and delivering fibre to the home (FTTH) connectivity. Despite this, the UK still lags towards the bottom of the European FTTH penetration leagues, with only 1 per cent of British properties having FTTH access.  

“The Which? Report reinforces what we already know – the British public are struggling with, and paying for, broadband speeds that are far lower than advertised. While it is vital that broadband adverts offer an accurate reflection of the service that will be provided, the broadband providers who still rely on a copper network will always struggle to deliver the performance and reliability that consumers have paid for. Ultimately, operators need to accelerate investment in their new high-speed networks. Century old copper cables are no longer fit for purpose; we need to prioritise and invest in full fibre to ensure that everybody in the UK has access to the connectivity that secures our digital future. It will be interesting to see how the part-fibre industry responds after the new ASA ruling is enforced on Wednesday,” said Matthew Hare, Chief Executive of rural broadband provider, Gigaclear.


Britain’s broadband infrastructure will be a key area of focus at this year’s Connected Britain event. Held from the 19-20 June 2018, Connected Britain will bring together the key stakeholders from Britain’s connectivity space. Click here for a full agenda.