We are continuing our look at how different providers are performing we pored over the data for BT Retail users from our speed test in April 2013 and are now able to show the results. We have added some variations in how the data is presented, so that as well as our conclusions the readers of this blog can also make their own minds up.

Ratio of the speeds BT customers get across their whole product range

Ratio of the speeds BT customers get across their whole product range

As you can see the bulk of BT customers are still giving speed test results at under 8 Meg, which given that while the FTTC and FTTP products are available to some 15 million homes, BT Retail only has around 1.3 million customers on its Infinity products (there are another 200,000 fibre customers with competing providers via the Openreach GEA products). There are some results from people who are clearly on the FTTP products, but we have also seen people with a FTTP service opting for the slower speed options, in areas where native FTTP (i.e. the only superfast option from Openreach) there are 40, 80 and 160 Mbps options from BT Retail.

Upload speeds from the BT customers running our speed test

Upload speeds from the BT customers running our speed test

The profile of speeds is very different for the upload, and what is a surprise is how many people are getting an upload speed below 400 Kbps, the profile of upload speeds for ADSL2+ customers below gives a very good indication that BT Retail still has a lot of customers on the older IPStream Max (up to 448 Kbps connection speed ~380 Kbps from speed tests) or if on the newer ADSL2+ network they are still running with a capped upstream speed.

Curve showing the distribution of speeds customers get on the upstream

Curve showing the distribution of speeds customers get on the upstream

Spread of speeds seen by BT customers with ADSL2+

Graph showing spread of speeds people get from ADSL/ADSL2+ service

The filtering we carry out to identify what product a customer of a broadband provider is using shows that around a quarter of those likely to be on an ADSL or ADSL2+ product have a capped upload connection speed of 448 Kbps. The BT Wholesale WBC ADSL2+ service should normally rate adapt to the conditions of the line to give a maximum upload in the 1 to 1.1 Mbps area.

The download graph also carries a clue that while the WBC ASDL2+ network is available to over 90% of premises, BT Retail still has people using an connection with an 8128 Kbps sync speed limit.

 

Profile of speeds users get from the VDSL2 Infinity 2 service

Profile of speeds users get from the VDSL2 Infinity 2 service

The Infinity service is the one BT Retail spends the bulk of its money advertising these days, though BT Sport may soon overtake that. The graph shows the spread of speeds and as is usual for the FTTC products an upload speed that would make for an excellent ADSL2+ download speed. One observation is that at just under 40 Mbps the curve changes shape slightly, which many will say is because there are 40/10 (Infinity 1) customers on the chart, and yes while there may be some, looking at the raw data, and reflected in the rolling average for the upstream speeds, many of these people are getting good upload speeds well beyond what you would see on a 40/10 service.

 

Download and upload speeds for BT customers on the Infinity 1 service

Download and upload speeds for BT customers on the Infinity 1 service

Identifying the difference between the Infinity 1 (up to 40 Meg down/up to 10 Meg up) and BT Broadband over Fibre product that is sold in areas where Infinity speeds are expected to be slow is difficult, so we have not split them out. The rolling average for the upload suggests the number on the 2 Mbps upload service is pretty small.

product Average Speed (Mbps) Median Speed ASA Compliant Speed
Infinity 2 Download (up to 80 Mbps) 51.8 53.4 73.0
Infinity 2 Upload (up to 20 Mbps) 13.9 15.1 18.4
Infinity 1 Download (up to 40 Mbps) 24.9 25.7 36.8
Infinity 1 Upload (up to 10 Mbps) 6.4 6.7 8.5
ADSL/ADSL2+ Download 6.6 5.4 14.9
ADSL/ADSL2+ Upload 0.6 0.6 0.9

Our aim is to continue looking at the various providers, with Plusnet likely to be the next candidate, but unlike Ofcom who only share results for those with market share above 4% we should be able to provide some useful figures for many of the medium sized providers. In time we hope to automate a lot of the analysis which is easy enough in itself, the problem being identifying the various anomalies.

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3 Responses


  1. PhilT on 24 May 2013

    Infinity 2 Upload (up to 20 Mbps) – ASA compliant speed is incorrect ?

  2. andrew on 24 May 2013

    So it was, now correct at 18419 Kbps

  3. WWWombat on 30 May 2013

    It isn’t really true that the “Bulk” of BT customers are below 8Mbps – it is just the biggest spike because of the way you chose the boundaries to create the bars.

    Break it into 3 (eg at 2, 4 and 8 boundaries), and the spikes will not be so high.

    Looked at another way, there are more people above the SFBB (30Mbps) level than below 8Mbps.


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