Ofcom launches broadband speed checker header image

Published: 1st Apr 2016

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has launched a new mobile coverage and fixed broadband checker, which is designed to show consumers what kind of broadband speeds they can expect in any particular postcode area in the country.

Visitors to the Ofcom website can key in their postcode and mobile users can add in details such as the network they are using, whether the calls are voice, 3G data or 4G data, and whether they are accessing the network from indoors or outdoors. Broadband customers can stipulate whether they have standard or superfast broadband.

The idea is to show individuals and households what standards and speeds they can expect when they move into an area, either when setting up home there or establishing business premises, as well as comparing speeds with the area they are presently located in.

Not only will this help individuals determine whether a move is a good idea in the same way they might assess factors such as transport links or local amenities, but it also can help hold providers to account. Indeed, the data itself comes from the internet service providers themselves, so they will need to ensure they meet their own stated figures, which are based on speeds in May and June last year.

The launch of the new service coincides with the publication of Ofcom's Smartphone Cities report, which outlines the comparative performances of EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London and Norwich.

It makes good reading for EE, which has made the best progress in establishing 4G services in the cities, while O2 has the weakest performance in terms of download speed and web browser performance.