Broadband speeds half as fast at peak times

New research by broadband comparison site Broadband Expert has revealed that broadband speeds slow down to nearly half their average speed between 7pm and 9pm in the evening.

The research based on over 72,000 speed tests carried from January to May 2008 has revealed that the average broadband speed slows down to 2.5Mb between 7pm and 9pm. By comparison the fastest speeds of 4.2Mbs are between 2am and 3am in the morning when least people are online.

Speeds varied massively by provider and the type of technology used. Virgins’ Cable broadband service recorded a low of 5.1Mbs between 7pm and 8pm and a high of 9.1Mbs between 2am and 3am. By comparison ADSL broadband providers, slowed to an average of 1.96Mbs from 7pm to 9pm compared to a high of 2.7Mbs between 2am to 3am.

ADSL2+ providers, advertising some of the fastest broadband speeds, including O2, Be and UK Online showed the least variation in speeds with a low of 6.4Mbs between 7pm and 9pm compared to 7.3Mbs between 2am and 3 am.

Broadband Expert’s technical Director explains the differences in speeds through out the day as “a simple case of physics with more people online in the evening there is less bandwidth assigned per individual.” Harvey added that “the more significant variation in broadband speeds witnessed by Virgin Media cable customers may be as a result of their company’s controversial traffic management policy where heavy broadband users have their speed restricted at peak times”.