Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Quality of broadband services in the EU - SamKnows study on Internet speeds (second report)

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Today the European Commission published the second report on the fixed broadband performance across the EU Member States and other European countries.
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SMART  2010/0036

Today the European Commission published the second report on the fixed broadband performance across the EU Member States and other European countries.

Key findings

  • The actual download speed is 75.6% of the advertised speed;
  • Both advertised and actual speeds have increased since 2012. The average advertised download speed across all countries was 38.50 Mbps during peak hours, compared to 30.37 Mbps of actual speed;
  • Average actual download speeds have has increased by almost 10Mbps since March 2012;
  • Differences are small in cable, large in xDSL: xDSL based services achieved only 63.8% of the advertised headline download speed, compared to 89.5% for cable and 82.7% for FTTx Results are based on peak time performance, which is defined as weekdays 7:00pm to 11:00pm (inclusive).

These are the overall results of the study sample and do not refer to the actual composition of the broadband market across each country, i.e. the precise overall outcome for any country would depend on the market shares of different tested technologies and providers in that country. This information was not available to the study consultant. A third study is planned in 2014 and more representative results can be obtained if information on the structure of the national markets is made available by NRAs.

Volunteers needed

This study will run until end 2014 and one more annual measurement is planned. European consumers can measure their own ISPs performance by joining a community of volunteers across all EU28 countries plus Iceland and Norway. Selected consumers will be sent a small device to plug into their home Internet connection. This device will run a series of automated tests when the line is not in use. It will establish the speed and performance of their broadband connection.

Background

Speeds of broadband products are advertised as "up to XX Mbit/s". This speed is called "advertised", "nominal" or "headline" speed and it is what is seen in the adverts. But there may be significant differences between the advertised speed and the actual speed consumers receive. This is the second measurement of a study on broadband performance that covers all EU Member States as well as Norway & Iceland, using the same approach. The project is being run by broadband performance testing specialist @SamKnows, which has already conducted similar projects in the UK and the US. It is based on a methodology that uses hardware devices and provides the most accurate and independent results of Internet performance regardless of access technology and home installation.

This methodology has also been used by national regulators in the US, the UK, Brazil and Singapore. This study presents the results of measurements taken from 9,467 measurement devices in October 2013. These devices were spread across 30 countries. A total of 7,184,604,603 measurements were taken across 63,666,843 unique tests.

The second report was completed independently of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), however ISPs are invited to participate in third report.

The previous report with figures for 2012 (first year of the project) is available here