The average broadband connection in the UK has reached double figures for the first time, with Ofcom reporting speeds of 12Mbit/s now being seen by most users around the country.
The figure represents an increase of 3.1Mbit/s over six months from May to November 2012, as the availability and interest in superfast services grow.
This means the average speed has trebled in the last four years, from 3.6Mbit/s in November 2008 to its current level of 12Mbit/s (see table below).
Ofcom chief executive, Ed Richards, said the rising figures underlined the desire for faster services around the UK.
"Our research shows that UK consumers are adopting faster broadband packages to cater for their increasing use of bandwidth-heavy services such as video streaming," he said.
"The increase in the average number of connected devices in UK homes is also driving the need for speed."
The figures also showed that both BT and Virgin Media's services are providing better speeds to customers than ever before. For example, the Virgin up to 30Mbit/s never got lower than 26.9Mbit/s during the measured periods. BT's 38Mbit/s service was at its lowest at 32.5Mbit/s.
However, its 76Mbit/s service never got higher than 68.1Mbit/s while, by contrast, Virgin Media's 100Mbit/s service sometimes went as high as 105.3Mbit/s.
BT was bullish on the figures, claiming it proved its customers were getting higher speeds than ever before over its rival Virgin when the speeds during the peak 8-10pm time slot were assessed.
"Ofcom's survey [...] reveals our network is much more likely than Virgin's to deliver the same speeds in the evening peak times when people most value their connection," a spokesperson said.
"We are pleased that Ofcom noted that on some Virgin Media products up to two-thirds of customers saw a significant slowdown in speeds at peak times.
Virgin hit back with a curt statement dismissing these claims and that underlines the animostity between the two firms.
"We always deliver speeds far closer to our headline claims than BT ever manages, so BT is right to point out their network's consistency - consistently failing to deliver what they promise."
The two firms frequently clash over their networks. Virgin Media's clout in the market is set to grow in the coming years, though, after it was bought out for £23bn by US giant Liberty.
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