SCottish householders experience slower broadband speeds early in the morning than anywhere else in the UK, a test of the nation’s connectivity has found.
Those connecting to the internet at 5am north of the Border suffer a poorer performance than people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – and also experience some of the slowest UK speeds at peak times.
Overall, the report, from uswitch.com, found that people who surf the net at off-peak times of day are likely to enjoy far faster speeds than peak-hour surfers.
In Scotland, users get an average speed of just 14.2 Mbps (megabits per second) at the off-peak time of 5am – below the 18.1 Mbps UK average and far below the best-performing region in Britain, Wales, where residents enjoy speeds of 22.5 Mbps.
In the evening when more traffic is online, Scotland’s average speeds drop to 11.8 Mbps – well below the UK average of 14.3 Mbps – while Wales, now the worst performer, has the lowest speed of 11.6 Mbps.
The broadband speed test data found those living in Aberdeen experience the slowest 9pm broadband speeds in the UK, at just 7.9 Mbps.
However, Glasgow residents see the most consistent broadband speeds between peak and off-peak times of day.
Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, said: “You might not be a morning type but your broadband is – no coffee required. It won’t come as a surprise that your internet is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the early hours when it’s not groaning under the weight of evening demand. What will surprise many people is by how much speeds drop.
“Given that most of us want to use our home broadband in the evening, it may be concerning to find out that the speed advertised when we sign up won’t necessarily be the speed we get at peak hours.”
Internet users say they have noticed their broadband is slower than usual at certain times of the day, with more than half saying the worst time comes between 8pm and 10pm, when many people want to stream on-demand films or TV.
Almost half of people said this had affected their leisure time, and prevented them from watching films, TV or listening to music, and more than a third said it had stopped them from working.
More than a fifth said they had lost an online auction due to slow broadband, while 17 per cent said they had missed out on the best online shopping deals during the sales.
More than one in ten said they had missed out on cheap flights or train tickets due to a slow connection.
Mr Taylor-Gibson added: “Dragging yourself out of bed at red-eye o’clock just to download a film is not a practical option but, at the very least, it’s worth running an online speed test at home to check you are getting the best possible service available in your area. If you think you could do better, consider shopping around for a new deal.
“People may also find that speedier fibre broadband is worth investing in – particularly for households with multiple connected devices. Just 44 per cent of people think they can get fibre broadband – but in fact it’s now available to almost three-quarters of the population.”