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15 June 2010: Web users have to put up with wildly varying broadband speeds each day, according to new analysis from, the UK’s most popular broadband comparison website.’s data found that, on average, customers see their broadband speeds vary by a third over a 24-hour period. measured over 250,000 speed tests on its website over 90 days to calculate average speeds at each hour of the day for customers of every major broadband provider in Britain, helping it identify the speeds reached at the fastest and slowest times.

The analysis is good news for night owls: the fastest time of the day for web browsing is 2AM, when the average speed is 7Mb, while the slowest time is 8PM, where a relatively sluggish 4.73Mb is achieved on average.

Broadband speeds vary for a number of reasons. The main reason is that demand on the network in the evenings slows down speeds compared to those received during the day. However, many internet providers adopt the practice of “traffic shaping” to control what speeds their customers can receive to stop heavy users hogging the available bandwidth. To see the full results visit our press area.

Alex Buttle from said: “Broadband is a bit like a motorway – speeds get slower at peak times because everyone’s trying to use it at once. But the broadband speed you get also depends to some extent on your broadband provider’s policy towards traffic shaping. Some broadband providers actively “throttle” broadband speed to ensure a consistent broadband experience for all consumers on their network.

“Some people view traffic shaping or “throttling” as a good thing because it helps manage demand and discourages heavy users from dominating the network. But other people, especially those who want to play games or watch TV online, get annoyed because their service can slow to a crawl.

“Our data shows how much provider speeds vary – but you need to check whether this will negatively affect how you use the web, or if it’s something you can live with.”


Notes to Editors: Media Ltd is the UK’s most popular comparison site aimed at the broadband and mobile phone sector with over 1.5 million consumers using the site every month. is dedicated to providing the best offers to help people get connected. The award-winning service offers an unrivalled consumer experience, combining cutting-edge design, innovative tools and exciting new ways for users to interact. Alongside all the latest deals and offers, includes up-to-date news, independent guides, and expert reviews. Media Ltd is a privately held company headquartered in London, UK.


Phil Szomszor
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
0207 282 1053

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