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Broadband rush hour slows download speed by 35%

Peak internet surfing times are slowing downloads down by an average of 35 per cent, the latest research from uSwitch.com has revealed.

According to the study, broadband rush hour is between 7pm to 9pm, when average download speeds fall by more than a third. Speeds can fall by up to 70 per cent in some areas, with Worcestershire experiencing the biggest slowdown.

Commenting, Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, says: "It really is surprising just how much broadband speeds fluctuate at different times of the day, with drop-offs of almost 70% in some areas of the UK. Not many internet users enjoy the maximum headline broadband speeds offered by providers, and certainly not during the working week.

"This research may help to shed some light on why many bewildered consumers, who believe they've signed up to a certain broadband speed, never actually feel like their connection is fast enough. The problem of slower broadband speeds has been exacerbated by changes in the way people use the internet, with far more people downloading music and watching TV programmes online, inevitably putting more strain on the network.

"Although providers are working hard to upgrade the UK's broadband infrastructure, there is a long road ahead to ensure that everyone can enjoy a much more consistent service. For those who feel they are permanently stuck in the slow lane, it's an extremely frustrating situation, especially with many people now relying heavily on the internet in their day-to-day lives."