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Broadband providers Virgin Media and O2 have come up trumps in the latest round of speed tests.

According to, the two companies supply the 'real world' speeds to beat - that is the average speed of connections rather than the 'up to' figures often included in advertising campaigns.

The research found that O2 pipped Virgin Media to the top of the broadband provider speed table, winning by 6.157 Mb to 6.097 Mb.

"Throughout most of 2008 O2 have been the undisputed leader in terms of average download speed, however results for August show that Virgin Media are snapping at their heels," said's Edd Dawson.

He continued: "While O2 are holding onto the overall highest average speeds, Virgin come in with the fastest average speeds during the evening and late night periods."

The other providers covered in the monthly test, found to be lagging behind the two front runners, included AOL, Be Broadband/O2, BT, TalkTalk and Tiscali.

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