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UK broadband users’ connection speeds fall by over a third at times of highest demand, research has revealed.

According to uSwitch Tech studies, during the peak period between 7 and 9pm average download speeds are 6.2Mbps. That’s some 35 per cent slower than the fastest average connection speed of 9.6Mbps available between the hours of 2 and 3am when demand is at its lowest.

The disparity in connection speeds was more marked on a regional level. Surfers in Evesham in Worcestershire’s connection speeds drop by 69 per cent, with average morning speeds of 15.5Mbps plummeting to just 4.9Mbps in the evening.

Weston-Super-Mare residents are only slightly better off, with peak-time speeds deteriorating by 64 per cent to 3.4Mbps compared with the average off-peak connection of 9.5Mbps.

Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, said: “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.

He added: “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.”

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