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Author Topic: UK Median Speed - analysis based on Ofcom Speed Report, Nov 2016  (Read 416 times)

WWWombat

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Ofcom keeps reporting the UK's average speed, but people keep complaining that the median speed gives a better idea of what "the typical user" experiences instead. The oft-used maxim is that the higher-speed packages mask the performance of "typical" ADSL users.

However, the mathematician in me has noticed that the median UK user (aka the typical user) is now likely to be based on superfast, NGA, fibre-based technology.

As of November, the median user was likely to have just swapped to an NGA technology, but still be on a sub-25Mbps speed. As of this week (after BT publish their latest takeup figures), the median user is likely to be on superfast speeds.

That mathematician part of me was intrigued as to how this changes the idea of "average speeds" going forward... As far as "median" speed is concerned, we are likely to see a sudden jump from the top group of the ADSL2+ speeds (around 19Mbps) to the lower group of FTTC speeds (around 35Mbps), but this is then likely to stay relatively static for the next 3 years.

Graphs:
From the data reported by Ofcom, I broke the UK broadband marketplace down into 20 groups - 5% of market share to each group. To each group, I allocated an average speed and a technology. Of the 20 groups, there is:
- 1 group of ADSL
- 9 groups of ADSL2+
- 2 groups of FTTC "up to 38"
- 3 groups of FTTC "up to 52"
- 1 group of FTTC "up to 76"
- 2 groups of Cable "up to 50"
- 1 group of Cable "up to 100"
- 1 group of Cable "up to 200"

The 1st graph shows the average speeds for each of the groups, using an average of each line's maximum speed.
In graph 1, the median user will come from the FTTC "up to 38" group.

The 2nd graph shows the average speed for each of the groups, using an average of each line's speed during peak hours.
In graph 2, the median user will come from the Cable "up to 50" group.

The future...
Takeup of NGA services is increasing at roughly 5% per year - so the graphs in 12 months are likely to drop 1 of the ADSL2+ groups, and create an extra FTTC one (though split, 50:50 between "up to 38" users and "up to 52" users). It'll be perhaps 3-4 years before the median user jumps up from a 40Mbps sync to a 55Mbps sync group. In the meantime, the "median speed" isn't likely to change much.

Sources:
Ofcom Broadband Speeds, November 2016 - lots of data to breakdown the speeds for various technologies
BT Quarterly results - The "investor meeting slide pack" gives technology market shares, while the quarterly results give a way to breakdown how much of the FTTC market belongs to BT
Thinkbroadband speed profiles - show relative takeup of the "up to 76" FTTC packages
VM quarterly results - report half of VM on 100Mbps+, half on sub-100 packages.
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Black Sheep

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Re: UK Median Speed - analysis based on Ofcom Speed Report, Nov 2016
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2017, 07:03:49 PM »

Cheers for taking the time to do that, W3 ............. your posts on this forum are very informative indeed.  :)
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WWWombat

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Re: UK Median Speed - analysis based on Ofcom Speed Report, Nov 2016
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 10:49:37 PM »

Ta. But I'm not sure that many people are interested in the odd things my brain gets interested in ;)

This data does show something interesting, though...

Today, the government have thrown out the Lords' idea of a USO (of 30Mbps), but restored the 10Mbps value with a little giveaway to sooth the Lords ... that they'll get Ofcom to re-evaluate the 10Mbps value when takeup of SFBB reaches 75%. It kinda (but not quite) says that the target for a USO should be the 75th percentile.

Today, the 75th percentile (or the 25th percentile, when counting from the slowest) can be seen to be 9Mbps, so perhaps the USO is being set at the right level.

And at the current take-up rate, the re-evaluation would likely be in 5 years time.
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burakkucat

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Re: UK Median Speed - analysis based on Ofcom Speed Report, Nov 2016
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 11:47:03 PM »

Ta. But I'm not sure that many people are interested in the odd things my brain gets interested in ;)

It is the rich variety of members' interests that gives rise to a healthy ecosystem.  :)
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BigJ

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Re: UK Median Speed - analysis based on Ofcom Speed Report, Nov 2016
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2017, 02:26:00 PM »

If you will please forgive the "me too" response, I do find these little "extras" interesting also.
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