New broadband figures suggest the average broadband download speed in the U.K. is less than half of the average advertised broadband “up to” speed.

Research by broadband comparison site reveals the average broadband download speed in March 2012 was 7.9 Mbps, compared with the average advertised “up to” speed of 18.5 Mbps.

Here’s how the technologies measured up:

>> Fiber-optic broadband came closest with an average of 17.6 Mbps, 50 percent of the 35.2 Mbps advertised.
>> ADSL, the U.K.’s most widely used broadband that’s deployed on the existing telephone network, reported 6.3 Mbps, 41.7 percent of the advertised 15.1 Mbps.
>> Mobile broadband was the worst offender, with a 2.4 Mbps download speed, just 19.3 percent of the 12.4 Mbps advertised.

According to Paul France of, “Our speed test results indicate there’s still a disparity between advertised broadband speeds and actual speeds consumers are reporting. Even with the new advertising guidelines in place, consumers could still be disappointed or feel misled by advertised ‘up to’ speeds when, in reality, their actual speeds fall short of what they were expecting.”

He touts, “Our advice to consumers is to ignore advertised up to speeds and check their line speed on a Web site like or with the providers directly.”

The Methodology

Here is a more in-depth look at the tests performed by, technology by technology:

>> ADSL broadband:
5,755 speed tests
Average advertised "up to" speed: 15.1 Mbps
Average download speed: 6.3 Mbps
Average upload speed: 1 Mbps

>> Fiber-optic broadband:
4,399 speed tests
Average advertised "up to" speed: 35.2 Mbps
Average download speed: 17.6 Mbps
Average upload speed: 2.9 Mbps

>> Mobile broadband:
143 speed tests
Average advertised "up to" speed: 12.4 Mbps
Average download speed: 2.4 Mbps
Average upload speed: 1 Mbps

>> All broadband types:
10,546 speed tests
Average advertised "up to" speed: 18.5 Mbps
Average download speed: 7.9 Mbps
Average upload speed: 1.4 Mbps

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