We published a national round-up of the results from our speed test tool earlier in August, and have found a gap in hectic schedule now to give people a little more insight into how speeds can vary greatly within a postcode group.
The chart above shows that B44 (Kingstanding) is probably the best served part of Birmingham and the tests so show that both Virgin Media and FTTC services from BT, TalkTalk, Sky, EE, PlusNet and others are available. The interesting point is that while this suburb has fast download speeds, the median for the upload suggests more pronounced asymmetry of the Virgin Media cable services is pulling this figure down.
The plot for just download speeds, with the range bars added (top and bottom 25%) reveals that for B44 the mean and median speeds are a close match, which we suspect means the area is relatively mature in terms of superfast broadband takeup, rather than just one or two speed freaks buying the fastest package just because they can.
The main point that can be taken from the download speeds is that B68 (Bristnall Fields) and B11 (Tyseley) while having low mean and median speeds, the range of speeds in those two areas is very narrow. Of course it may be that in the data set we are using people on the fast connections have not run the tests in that area. Certainly Virgin Media cable services are available, so if this was a mathematical modelling exercise we could simply assign an average based on measurements from other known Virgin Media customers, or this one of those parts of the UK where Virgin Media is running slow?
Of course the broadband scene is not just about consuming data, broadband makes information available at our fingertips, but the enabler is that we all become content providers and thus upload speeds are important. From the upload chart it is fairly safe to say that the postcodes B44, B90 and B61 have a number of people a FTTC 80/20 based service.
We will be back to look at more of our speed test results in a couple of weeks, looking most likely at PlusNet who we believe are larger than EE in terms of fixed line broadband, and we may also do an aggregate look at the small and medium sized providers. With the big four (BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Sky) accounting for over 92% of the UK market it is not as easy to get enough useful data on the smaller providers.