The majority of consumers across the EU receive just 74 percent of the speeds they are promised by internet service providers (ISPs), according to new data from a huge study by the European Commission.
Test data from all member states was gathered in the survey, which was first announced in 2011. The tests generated three billion unique pieces of data from 75 million tests run by almost 10,000 participants.
Overall, the data revealed that the average download speed was 19.47Mbps, although this was somewhat distorted by the vastly different speeds measured by various systems For example, cable technologies delivered averages of 41Mbps while cable offered 33Mbps. By contrast, xDSL services were far slower, at 7.2Mbps.
While the headlines speeds are impressive, for the majority of consumers the results mean they are not getting the full value of their services, with only 74 percent of promised speeds being delivered.
Unsurprisingly, xDSL-based services fared the worst, at only 63.3 percent of the advertised download speeds, compared to 91.4 percent for cable and 84.4 percent for fibre services.
Meanwhile, the average upload speed was 6.2Mbps, which was 88 percent of the advertised speed from ISPs. Fibre services achieved the highest upload speeds at 19.8Mbps, while cable and xDSL services offered 3.68Mbps and 0.69Mbps respectively.
The figures mean the EC is a little way off its lofty goal of providing speeds of 30Mbps to 100 percent of citizens by the end of the year, as well as ensuring at least 50 percent of households are on 100Mbps by 2020.
In response, digital agenda vice president for the EC, Neelie Kroes said the results proved the telecoms market must work harder to deliver value for money for internet users.
"This is the first time the difference between advertised and actual broadband speeds is confirmed by comparable and reliable data from all EU Member States,” she said.
“Consumers need more of this sort of data to help make informed choices, so we will repeat the exercise. And we take these first results as further proof of the need for a real connected single market."
The survey results were based on peak time performance monitoring on weekdays between 7pm and 11pm inclusive. It was run by testing firm SamKnows, which has also carried out similar surveys in the UK.
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