The average broadband speed in the UK has risen to 6.8Mbit/s in the six months to May 2011, according to research by Ofcom. The research was released on the same day (27 July 2011) that a revised broadband speed Code of Practice comes into force. The broadband speed Code of Practice encourages broadband providers to advertise a speed range rather than a single 'up to' speed and to allow customers to leave their supplier without penalty if the customer receives a speed that is significantly lower than the bottom of the estimated range.
However, Ofcom also notes that the gap between actual and advertised ('up to') speeds has grown over the same period, with Ofcom finding the average advertised speed was 15Mbit/s - 8.2Mbit/s higher than the average actual speeds of 6.8Mbit/s.
Ofcom found that while “superfast” broadband is available to some customers, more than 75 percent of UK home connections are currently delivered by copper ADSL telephone lines, in respect of which speeds depend on the length and quality of the line running from the customers home to the local exchange (typically, the closer a customer lives to the exchange, the better the performance).