Broadband Speeds Hit By England World Cup Fever as Fans Flock to Online Broadcast

Jun 24, 2010, 12:12 ET from

LONDON, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Internet users across the UK are likely to have suffered some sluggish web browsing on Wednesday afternoon as England fans tuned in to the BBC's live online broadcast for the crucial World Cup showdown with Slovenia.

Figures released by internet service provider KC suggest that the game triggered a 31% jump in web traffic, as users watched wherever they could – which for many people was the workplace – resulting in many business and consumer broadband ISP connections experiencing high latency during the game which kicked off at 3pm.

Broadband speed became an issue for many users, such as Daniel from the Wirral who commented on the BBC website: "We're trying to watch at work and it's so jerky it's unwatchable. Thanks BBC, between you and ITV HD I've still not seen England score in this competition. Wonderful!"

According to recent analysis from, the UK's most popular broadband speed test and broadband comparison website, web users have to put up with wildly varying broadband speeds each day. measured over 250,000 speed tests on its website over 90 days to calculate average speeds at each hour of the day for customers of every major broadband provider in Britain, helping it identify the speeds reached at the fastest and slowest times.

The analysis is good news for night owls: the fastest time of the day for web browsing is 2AM, when the average speed is 7Mb, while the slowest time is 8PM, where a relatively sluggish 4.73Mb is achieved on average. 

Alex Buttle from said: "Broadband is a bit like a motorway – speeds get slower at peak times because everyone's trying to use it at once. But the broadband speed you get also depends to some extent on your broadband provider's policy towards traffic shaping. Some broadband providers actively "throttle" broadband speed to ensure a consistent broadband experience for all consumers on their network.

"Some people view traffic shaping or 'throttling' as a good thing because it helps manage demand and discourages heavy users from dominating the network. But other people, especially those who want to play games or watch TV online, get annoyed because their service can slow to a crawl."

The World Cup 2010 has already broken several records for internet traffic.

Findings by Akamai suggest that global web traffic on the first day of the World Cup exceeded the limit set when Barack Obama won the US presidential election.

On the first day of the competition, traffic for news sites reached nearly 12.1 million visitors per minute, compared to 8.5 million visitors per minute during the night of the US presidential vote.

England play their next World Cup game on Sunday 27 June against Germany at 3pm.

Notes to Editors: Media Ltd - is the UK's most popular comparison site aimed at the broadband and mobile phone sector with over 1.5 million consumers using the site every month. is dedicated to providing the best offers to help people get connected. The award-winning service offers an unrivalled consumer experience, combining cutting-edge design, innovative tools and exciting new ways for users to interact. Alongside all the latest deals and offers, includes up-to-date news, independent guides, and expert reviews. Media Ltd is a privately held company headquartered in London, UK.

Contact: Alex Buttle, Marketing Director - , +44(0)203-170-8041