Broadband speed test standards

Broadband customers in the UK have seen a fall in their average download speeds during the last quarter of 2011 according to Akamai’s latest report. The speed dropped to 4.9Mbps compared to the 5.1Mbps that was being achieved in the previous quarter. These findings are part of a trend that is being seen around the world, so say the web content delivery company in their fourth quarter ‘State of the Internet’ report which was released on Monday.

Akamai have stated in the report that the average global connection speed saw a fairly significant, albeit unusual, decline during the last three months of 2011 dropping down to 2.3Mbps. They went onto say that this was reflected in declines in 8 of the top 10 countries for Internet usage, including the US.

93 countries saw lower download speeds, compared to only 41 which saw increases. The top 2 countries, South Korea and Japan, both enjoyed a rise in their average download speeds with 17.5Mbps and 9.1Mbps respectively. There were only 2 countries in Europe which saw an increase in their download speeds and these were Finland at 5.9Mbps and Sweden at 5.5Mbps.

The Netherlands had the fastest download speeds in Europe with 8.2Mbps, but this was still a reduction of 3.2%. The decline of speeds in the UK was 3.5%.  The fourth quarter in general was not a good one for Europe’s average connection speeds  as only 2 of the countries surveyed saw higher speeds that they had done in the previous quarter, and these losses were more widespread across Europe than in the US or in the Asia Pacific region.

Customers in the UK may not have noticed this drop in download speeds, particularly if they live in one the areas that suffers from differing speeds depending on the time day, volume of traffic etc. There are those users, however, who constantly check their broadband speeds and ring their providers constantly if their speed drops below what they perceive as acceptable.

Broadband speed test standards in the UK can vary between the sites that offer these kind of tests, as some will offer the average speed offered depending on your postcode, while other will ask you to download a file and base their findings on how quickly you can do this. The former is generally considered to be the most reliable as the second one can give hit or miss results depending on where you are.