Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

Broadband speeds drop off at peak times

Uswitch study reveals peak speeds slow by a third

Broadband speeds slower at peak times

A uSwitch study has revealed broadband download speeds in the UK drop off by an average of 35% at the busiest times.

Research carried out by price comparison site uSwitch, based on two million speed tests in the UK, has shown that the fastest average download speeds of 9.6Mbps are only available between 2am and 3am. At peak times between the hours of 7pm and 9pm average speeds fall to 6.2Mbps. 

Daily changes to broadband speeds

The study shows that broadband users can’t expect the same constant speed even throughout one day. It also showed differences on a regional level could be even more significant. 

The place with the biggest difference was named as Evesham in Worcestershire. According to the uSwitch data, broadband users here are seeing a fall of 69% over the day. Average morning download speeds are 15.5Mbps but drop to just 4.9Mbps in the evening. 

Advertising of broadband speeds

Today’s announcement is just another reminder than advertised headline broadband speeds can often be misleading. The ‘up to’ speed currently used by most providers is not a guarantee of what you’ll actually receive. The impact of time of day on your broadband speed is also something to consider. At peak times your speed may be adversely affected. 

Recent guidance changes to the way broadband speeds claims can be made in advertising will come into affect on the 1st April 2012.  The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) published two new Help Notes in September 2011 which asks advertisers to only make maximum speed claims that are achievable for at least 10% of customers. It also asks advertisers to include in the ad appropriate additional information to accompany this speed to ensure the average consumer is not mislead. 

More on this…
  • Increase your broadband speed – expert tips on how to improve your broadband speed
  • Which?broadband reviews – find out which provider has the most satisfied customers
  • Your rights – how to complain about poor broadband speed
Back to top