A new study released by UK services price comparison company uSwitch had revealed the details of broadband speeds in the region, pinpointing the time of fastest connection and the towns to be for the highest-quality signals.
Unsurprisingly, it was revealed that you would have to be awake fairly early in the morning (or stay up late) in order to get an absolute premium signal, with 4am measured as the time of average speeds being their quickest, while 9pm was recorded as the slowest time.
Based on over 2.3m speed tests conducted between July 2012 and January 2013, the study looked into the 50 ‘most densely populated’ cities in the UK, discovering that speeds drop by 28% during evening periods.
The ‘early hours’ mentioned above received average speeds of 14.83mb/ps, and while the 9pm peak point recorded a 10.72mb/ps nation-wide average.
For ‘evening speeds’, residents of Birmingham and Middlesbrough (both England) are thought to have gotten off the lightest, accessing respective connections at speeds of 12.88 and 12.87, while the worst average signals on the chart were found in Aberdeen (Scotland) and Swansea (Wales), recording a 6.08 and 6.99, respectively.
For the fastest times, Dudley (England) was marked as the quickest at 4am with 31.81mb/ps, though it suffers a drops of 60% when compared with its figures of 12.62 at 9pm. Residents of Stoke-on-Trent (England) enjoy the most consistency in this regard, experiencing a speed fluctuation of just 0.7% between the two extremes.
uSwitch telecoms expert Julia Stent said of the findings and how an ‘incredible strain’ is placed on ISP’s during peak times: “The big rise in streaming and downloading – be that films for our tablets, or games for our smartphones – means that striving to deliver consistent speeds will be a long, hard slog for broadband providers. It certainly explains why some people may never actually feel like their connection is as fast as the one promised by providers when they signed. The obvious solution of setting your alarm at 4am to use the internet is far from practical. Instead, run an online speed test at home to check that you are getting the best possible service available in your area. If you think you could do better, consider shopping around for a new deal.”
With the ‘greater demand’ coming from services such as online streaming that are becoming more and more adopted into households, do ISP’s need to do more to handle the ever-increasing flow, or do consumers just need to relax their demands a little?