02/02/2012 02:59 GMT

Ofcom: UK Broadband Speeds Are Faster Than Ever

How fast did this page load for you? Ofcom says you should get out the sparkers and pop the champagne - broadband speeds are 22 percent faster than they were 12 months ago.

Based on measurements taken in November 2011, the average UK residential broadband speed was 7.6megabits per second, compared with 6.2Mbits a second in November/December 2010.

It's no thanks to the broadband suppliers though. Ofcom says it's down to customers like you upgrading to higher speed broadband packages.

The communications regulator said that in November 2011 more than half (58 per cent) of UK home broadband connections were signed up to 10Mbits per second packages.

Ofcom also pointed out that just under half, or four in ten home broadband customers are on lower rate packages, when they could upgrade to a higher speed at little or no extra cost if they switched package or provider.

Andrew Ferguson, editor of said: "One area of the report that is very revealing is how investment is needed to improve broadband in rural areas that have an average of 3.3 Mbps versus urban at 8.8 Mbps.

Even when you just consider broadband packages largely available to rural areas, ADSL in urban areas manage 3.9 Mbps while rural areas get 2.5 Mbps in rural areas. The gulf is even wider with ADSL2+. That's 6.9 Mbps in urban areas compared to 3.6 Mbps in rural areas."

The government via Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has previously said: "Our goal is simple: within this parliament we want Britain to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe.”

In 2011, Hunt said 10 UK cities will be eligible to fight it out for a share of £100 million to boost broadband speeds.

Adam Scorer, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Consumer Focus, said: "It’s good news that customers are getting faster broadband speeds. But there is still often a very clear gap between the maximum speeds advertised by suppliers and what people actually receive."

What's the broadband speed like where you live? Are you happy with your service?