European broadband disparity at 25% header image

Published: 26th Jun 2013

The disparity between advertised broadband speeds and the rate consumers actually receive has been highlighted as a staggering 25 per cent across Europe, new data has revealed.

Figures published by the European Commission (EC) this week revealed that consumer on average receive only three-quarters of the advertised 'up to' broadband speeds of providers, with the survey covering 9,000 users across the 27 EU member nations.

Cable broadband was found to offer the best results for those who can be connected, at 91.4 per cent of achieved rates, while fibre users typically saw speeds of 84.4 per cent of advertised rates.

Subscribers to xDSL services were found to worst off at present, witnessing actual transfer rates of just 63.3 per cent of the provider's advertised speeds.

An EC statement read: "In the UK and France, for example, xDSL products are predominantly advertised with a single headline speed (eg 20Mbps). Customers whose copper phone lines mean that they can only receive a fraction of that speed will still be sold that product.

"Other countries will offer a wider spectrum of products and may adopt policies that they will not sell customers products that they cannot possibly achieve full speed on."

Individuals living in areas where connection to superfast broadband is currently problematic may find that satellite broadband offers them a viable solution to their problems. It does not require a physical internet connection, instead using signals bounced via satellites in orbit to deliver fast internet connectivity.

The news follows the publication a new report from broadband analyst Point Topic, which highlighted a number of "significant challenges" facing the rollout of superfast broadband services across Europe in the coming years.

The analysis revealed a large boost to investment is required if the EU is to meet its targets for improving the base speeds of internet users across the continent, with estimates that up to €82 million (£70 million) of additional funding will be needed to improve access to superfast services in rural communities.

Posted by Craig Roberts