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 Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Europeans consumers are not getting the broadband download speeds they pay for. On average, they receive only 74% of the advertised headline speed they have paid for, according to a new European Commission study on fixed broadband performance.

Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes says: "This is the first time the difference between advertised and actual broadband speeds is confirmed by comparable and reliable data from all EU Member States.” There are significant differences in the European national markets, most likely due to advertising practices. Kroes says “Consumers need more of this sort of data to help make informed choices, so we will repeat the exercise. And we take these first results as further proof of the need for a real connected single market."

Key findings in the study include:

  • Cable has the most reliable download speeds: The European average of 74% hides significant variation in the performance of different technologies. xDSL based services achieved only 63.3% of the advertised headline download speed, compared to 91.4% for cable and 84.4% for FTTx. (see annex).

  • In absolute terms, the average download speed across all countries and all technologies was 19.47 Mbps during peak hours. FTTx services achieved the fastest speeds at 41.02Mbps. Cable services achieved 33.10Mbps, whilst xDSL services lagged far behind at 7.2Mbps on average.

  • The upload speeds are closer to their advertised speeds. Across Europe, the average upload speed was 6.20 Mbps, representing 88% of advertised upload speeds. FTTx services achieved the highest speeds by far, at 19.8Mbps. This is because many FTTx services provide an upload speed far closer to the download speed. Cable and xDSL services achieved a modest 3.68Mbps and 0.69Mbps respectively.

Source: European Commission.