by CIO Staff

Survey: BT Takes Crown in U.K. Broadband Tests

Jul 17, 20062 mins

British Telecom (BT) has been named the fastest asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) Internet service provider (ISP) in the United Kingdom, in front of Virgin, Demon, AOL and Orange, BBC News reports.

The news comes from a recent Internet survey by Web testing firm Epitiro, which employs some 250 “monitoring agents” at 10 U.K. locations to collect data on the top consumer ISPs, BBC News reports. Readings from a number of ISPs are compared at each specific locale to make sure the distance between telephone exchanges, among other factors, does not alter the accuracy of the final results, according to BBC News.

Epitiro got its numbers from software installed at these 10 locations that takes readings every 15 minutes regarding such metrics as average connection speed, as well as average download and upload rates, according to BBC News.

Epitiro’s survey did not include input from cable broadband providers like NTL Telewest, BBC News reports.

The Web research firm has been collecting such data for the past three years, but this is the first time it has made its research public, as it typically sells its findings back to ISPs or telecom providers for their own research purposes, according to BBC News.

Gavin Johns, Epitiro managing director, told BBC News, “In terms of Internet performance, BT topped the overall rankings for the period April to June 2006. BT was also found to provide the fastest service as a percentage of its theoretical maximum.”

Though Epitiro found that BT was the best overall Web service provider for the specified period, its research was also granular enough to highlight which companies are the best at providing specific services, like electronic message delivery, according to BBC News.

“Virgin, BT and AOL were the fastest to actually connect to the Internet, while Pipex, Orange and BT were up to four times faster than the industry average at delivering e-mail,” Johns said, according to BBC News.

Johns was also quick to specify that Epitiro’s results don’t mean BT is the best ISP for every Web surfer in the United Kingdom, nor does it claim that BT provides its users with the best value available for their money, BBC News reports.

“It’s hard performance data and nothing else,” Johns told BBC News.

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