New figures from research firm Epitiro puts BT as the leading consumer broadband provider for the 4th quarter of 2006 (October-January).
Their research found BT to be providing the best overall service, closely followed by Pipex, Orange and Demon, with Virgin in 5th place. Despite their low placing, Virgin recorded the lowest number of connection failures, suggesting that their customers achieved the highest degree of uptime.
BT notched up the fastest HTTP download speed and fastest FTP downloads from users’ personal webspace, with Pipex recording the fastest FTP upload speed.
Epitiro’s testing procedure monitors “customer experience” for internet access services, analysing over 622,000 real-time data samples from eleven locations around the UK – meaning that each broadband service was tested around 60,000 times.
Like ferrets in a drainpipe factory, Epitiro’s boffins keenly rummaged through these figures to get a breakdown of the speed and reliability of Internet connections, connection times, download and upload speeds, and the performance of both ping and DNS lookups.
The report also shows browsing speeds increasing steadily throughout last year, with the fourth quarter recording an average consumer ADSL connection speed at 5728.3 kilobytes per second.
“ISPs are increasing their speeds, which is good news for bandwidth-hungry users,” commented Epitiro’s Gavin Johns.
“Speeds have increased from 3817.82 kilobytes per second in the third quarter due to new ADSL Max entrants into the ten largest broadband providers. However it’s unlikely that many ADSL Max services will perform at their full capacity of 8Mbps. The speed of broadband service reduces the further the customer’s connection is from their local telephone exchange,” he added.
Overall rankings Q4 2006 (Q3 2006 in brackets)
1 BT (BT)
2 Pipex (Pipex)
3 Demon (Orange)
4 PlusNet (Demon)
5 Virgin (Virgin)