Broadband speeds experienced in critical 8pm to 10pm window revealed
Broadband advertising is set to change and we have completed an analysis of broadband speed tests carried out during 2017 to arrive at a median speed for the most popular broadband services between 8pm to 10pm. The same method for identifying the various packages is used for the monthly results we publish and for many products there is not much difference in the speeds shown, but for the cable broadband packages from Virgin Media the impact of looking at just the 8pm to 10pm window is significant and they are very different to the official Virgin Media figures which show the 200 Mbps service dropping from 203.76 Mbps to 192.03 Mbps in the peak window (we presume Virgin Media are publishing a median rather than a mean average) compared to a drop we are observing from 82.3 to 55 Mbps. Invariably we get accused of running a broken speed test but we know its not as we can find people with tests like these 374 Mbps down and 19.8 Mbps up Virgin Media one and 377 Mbps down and 20.8 Mbps up though on that second one you can see it is taking a long time to reach the top speeds and this ramp up over a few seconds while probably not noticeable with web browsing is likely to be impacting the overall results.
Other factors are that we are crowdsourcing from the wider population rather than repeated sampling of a few known locations and the speeds are what people see on their actual devices so includes the effect of Wi-Fi (we estimate that across the Virgin Media median speed of 46.4 Mbps in Q4/2017 eliminating tests that appear to be carried out over Wi-Fi would add 5.4 Mbps to the median download speed).
What is noticeable across the board is that the quality metric (details on this measure) is higher during the peak time, indicating that during individual tests the speed is more variable even when the median result is still good, or put another way people can still get good speed test results but there is more variation and when this is bad (in the D and E zones) the chances of buffering with video streaming or web browsing becoming more sludge like is possible.
A map of the analysis of the Q4 results for 2017 is available at https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/map-tech and this lets you view the metrics for a variety of broadband technologies by postcode area (e.g.
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