Virgin Media beats BT and Sky in latest broadband speed tests

Virgin Media offers the best broadband download speeds in the country. That’s according to a new study from Ofcom, which said Virgin Media customers enjoy speedier downloads than those using rival services like BT and Sky. The research, which looks at the performance of home broadband across the UK, said Virgin Media’s 516 Mbps service offers the highest average download speed.

This offering from Virgin recorded a median download rate of 490.3 Mbps as well as 473.3 Mbps average 24-hour download speeds.

The nearest challenger from a rival service was BT, whose 300 Mbps full-fibre package offered a 299.9 Mbps median average download rate as well as a 297.5 Mbps mean average over 24 hours.

In a post online outlining their findings, Ofcom said this means BT customers may experience “more consistent download speeds”.

Despite coming out on top when it came to download speeds, Virgin Media missed out in one category as the research found BT offers the best upload speeds.

READ MORE: Virgin Media O2 shares good news for 10 million broadband customers

BT’s 300 Mbps full-fibre service had the highest median and mean average upload speeds – 50.6 Mbps and 50.4 Mbps respectively.

While Virgin Media’s 516 Mbps service, which had the best download speeds, offered upload speeds in line with its 362 Mbps service of around 36 Mbps.

Despite BT coming out as the winner in this department, better download speeds are what the majority of internet users will benefit from – as it leads to web pages loading faster, movie and video games getting download quicker and the ability to stream reliably in higher resolutions such as 4K.

Rounding up its findings on broadband providers, Ofcom said: “Virgin Media’s 516 Mbit/s service provided the fastest median average 24-hour download speed among the packages in the report (490.3 Mbit/s) while BT’s 300 Mbit/s full-fibre service had the highest median upload speed (50.6 Mbit/s).”

Elsewhere the study also looked at the average home download speeds in the UK in general.

And the study found average home download speeds in the UK now stand at 50.4 Mbps.

This was recorded in March 2021 and is an increase of 20 percent compared to November 2019.

Ofcom said this was driven by more people upgrading to superfast and ultrafast service, with the surge in people working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic playing a part in this trend.

Yih-Choung Teh, the group director strategy and research at Ofcom, said: “Over two million households have upgraded their internet package since the pandemic began, and broadband firms are rushing to meet the UK’s need for speed.

“With full-fibre networks being built at a record rate, the UK’s networks are being made fit for the future. But our figures show work is still needed to get decent broadband to remote parts of the UK.”

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