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What Is a Good Broadband Speed?

Nobody wants broadband that will cause videos to buffer every 5 seconds or speeds that will cause webpages to load so slowly you want to rip your hair out.

On the flip side, you may not want to spend megabucks on getting the fastest internet available – completely understandable!

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Most people just want a middle-of-the-road deal with decent speeds at an affordable price. Here’s what you should be looking out for!

How are internet speeds measured?

Internet speed is typically measured in megabits per second – abbreviated to Mbps. The number of bits per second represents the performance of your internet connection and how quickly you can send and receive data. In short, the higher the Mbps, the faster your connection will be.

The four categories of internet speeds

There are four main categories that broadband usually falls within… standard, superfast, ultrafast, and hyperfast (or gigafast).

  • Standard or ADSL broadband is delivered to your property by copper wiring, which slows down your connection and only allows for speeds of up to 11Mpbs.

  • Superfast broadband uses fibre optic cables to your local cabinet in order to deliver faster speeds of 30Mbps or higher.

  • Ultrafast broadband boasts speeds of up to 300Mbps by transmitting data along fibre optic cable which run straight to your property. This is called FTTP or full fibre.

  • Hyperfast broadband delivers the quickest speeds available of up to 1000Mbps or 1 gig and is only offered by a handful of service providers.

What is the UK average internet speed?

Ofcom’s annual home broadband report from 2019 states that nearly three-quarters of households have superfast broadband – meaning 30Mbps or higher. 

The average speed of UK households in May 2020 was said to be 64Mbps... this is an increase of 18% on the previous year when the average was 52Mbps. 

The report also included that just 17% of homes achieve 100Mbps or higher, and only 3% get speeds faster than 300Mbps.

What is a good speed?

There is no definitive answer as to what a ‘good’ internet speed is... however, superfast broadband (speeds of around 30Mbps) should suit the online requirements of most households.

This type of package will be able to handle activities such as sending an email, browsing the web and flicking through social media, as well as streaming TV shows, films and music. Several people and devices should also be able to use the internet at once without it affecting the connection too much. 

Heavy internet users may want to consider a faster-than-average broadband plan. Online activities such as gaming and downloading and uploading large files will require a larger bandwidth. 

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