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Which are the Fastest ISP's of 2015

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In 2015, having a fast Internet connection can make the difference between a happy home life and a frustrating one. It’s not just speed that’s crucial though, it’s things like customer service and availability that matter too. In this guide we’ll help you decide whether you’re just going from the frying pan into the fire. To do this, we looked at survey results from Ofcom and Which? as well as PC Pro’s Excellence Awards.

Who had the Best Customer Service?

  1. Zen Customer Service
  2. Sky Customer Service
  3. Virgin Media Customer Service
  4. BT Customer Service

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has just released its broadband complaints data, highlighting the companies guilty of the most complaints. The report only looks at providers with a market share of 4% or more, so you won’t see smaller broadband networks mentioned.

Let’s take a look at the results:

Provider Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q2 Apr-Jun 2014) Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q3 Jul-Sep 2014) Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q4 Oct-Dec 2014) Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q1 Jan-FEB 2015)
EE 0.32 0.45 0.29 0.42
BT 0.28 0.41 0.32 0.33
TalkTalk 0.29 0.27 0.21 0.24
Sky 0.09 0.09 0.08 0.09
Virgin Media 0.06 0.08 0.07 0.07

EE looked to be making progress last quarter, when for the first time it wasn’t the provider attracting the most complaints (as a proportion of its customer base). Normal service is apparently resumed however, with Ofcom confirming it had mainly received complaints about service faults, billing and issues with switching provider.

Virgin and Sky once again had the fewest complaints, with numbers around the same as the previous quarter. So that’s what you think is important in the world of UK broadband. Now let’s take a look at the best of the current crop of ISPs.

UK’s best broadband ISPs of 2015

Sky and Virgin did well across all categories. For instance, when we asked ‘would you recommend your Broadband Provider’, Sky tied with Virgin to achieve the best overall ranking. But the picture was positive across the board. For instance, although around a third of Broadband customers were undecided as to whether they would recommend their ISP, only in the cases of Primus and Be Broadband did a third of respondents actively say they wouldn’t recommend their provider. Contacting Sky is easier, however, with the phone number for Sky TV easily visible.


So let’s have a look at why those ISPs attained those results. It was a similar story when it came to customer care, with only BT and Primus failing to get half of their customers to say customer service was excellent or at least satisfactory (and even then BT’s 47 percent is close enough). Indeed, we were delighted to see four providers had more than 60 percent wholly satisfied customers. And the winner? Step forward once again Sky.

Virgin Media – MOST RELIABLE

And what then, of speed, the most important factor for UK broadband users when selecting an ISP. We measured this two ways, both in terms of customer satisfaction and the speed tests the survey respondents submitted.

In the case of the former, once again Sky and Virgin Media leads the way, with a whopping 82 percent of customers expressing their happiness with the rapid internet fired down cables to their homes. BT with its fibre networks also made a strong showing here. other optic fibre operators, Sky, Plusnet, also performed well here.

Average speed (KBPS)

  • Virgin: 27,266
  • Plusnet: 24,529
  • BT: 13,164
  • TalkTalk: 6,910
  • EE: 6,818
  • Demon: 6,586
  • Sky: 5,942
  • Eclipse: 5,786
  • O2: 5,642
  • Be: 5,458
  • AOL: 3,809
  • Post Office: 3,255

A clear winner, then. Virgin Media is the fastest ISP in the land, and is recognised as such by its customers.

FASTEST ISP: Virgin Media

Highly commended UK ISP : Virgin Media

The fastest ISP, both in terms of overall speed tests and user satisfaction, it is perhaps unfair on Virgin that we have to pick a winner. Indeed, the survey results show that Virgin Media users are just as happy as are Plusnet customers: that is, very happy indeed. As well as speed, Virgin’s cable technology provides the most reliable network, but you do get what you pay for in this regard, and Virgin Media is one of the more expensive ISPs

Overall satisfaction with customer service by landline provider

  2013 2014
Virgin Media 61% 64% 74%
Sky 67% 70% 69%
TalkTalk 57% 64% 66%
55% 63% 63%
Sector Average 58% 64% 66%

In relation to overall satisfaction with landline providers’ customer service, Virgin Media’s score (74%) is significantly higher than the sector average (66%).

Virgin Media saw particular improvements year-on-year in logging of query details to avoid consumers having to repeat themselves (54% to 65%) and keeping consumers informed throughout the process (56% to 67%).

Satisfaction with the courtesy and politeness of Virgin Media customer service advisors also significantly improved since 2012 (69% to 79%) while it was the only provider to score higher than average on ease of getting through to the right person (67% versus 58% average).

Levels of overall satisfaction for BT, Sky and TalkTalk are in line with the sector average in 2015. None of these providers’ scores significantly increased from 2014.

Fixed broadband services (Sky, Virgin Media, BT, Orange and TalkTalk)

Connection speed was the main reason for broadband customers contacting customer services (16% of contacts), followed by changing their package or service (12% of contacts).

Overall satisfaction with customer service by fixed broadband provider

2012 2013 2014
Sky 63% 63% 71%
Virgin Media 60% 61% 71%
BT 61% 63% 63%
Orange 60% 59% 63%
TalkTalk 60% 60% 62%
Sector Average 60% 62% 66%

Sky and Virgin Media jointly achieved the highest customer service satisfaction scores  (71%), compared to the sector average (66%).

Broadband only:

Provider Ease of set-up Value for money Customer service Technical support Reliability of connection Connection speed Score
AOL 3/5 2/5 1/5 2/5 2/5 1/5 38%
BT 4/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 54%
Virgin Media 4/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 63%
Plusnet 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 3/5 73%

So one again EE, TalkTalk and BT fail to impress. Indeed, only Plusnet and Utility Warehouse achieve a decent score, earning themselves the distinction of being recommended suppliers.

Comments (1 )

  1. Etsumi - Reply    September 11 ,2015  

    Firstly I am a gamer and require from my innretet for it to be stable in both speeds and performance four nights a week for three hours each night.Upon being moved from Tiscali to Talktalk we started experiencing disconnections, my speed would go from 3.5mb to 0.3mb at peak times in the weekday and normally all weekend or just sunday.We get a letter telling us our package price would be going up to just over a330 (an increase of 100% for us) so we are really wanting a perfect service now for this quite silly and greedy increase.They send an engineer (one who does jobs for most ISP\'s in your area) out he changes our router to a new model, does some checks and says everything is OK at my end.Problems continue, because my family have a stupid TV package as well they used this to fob me off saying I needed to talk to the TV support even though it was clearly a broadband issue.Three months pass and after many calls and hours wasted which are the result of having a cheap call centre in India where the technical support staff seem to be stuck on a loop of we only guarantee 70% of your maximum speed well ok I can go with that but 0.3mb is 30% of 3.5mb yes ? After what must of being 10 hours of calls asking to speak to a supervisor sorry we don\'t do that , ok we want to talk to someone in the UK please sorry we don\'t do that , eventually we get through to someone who at least knew his stuff and wanted to actually provide some customer support.A BT engineer was sent out, but wait they didn\'t actually communicate with BT so they sent a phone engineer out, so he was here for all of 5mins.Few days later they send another out, again Talktalk did not communicate with BT so we get another phone engineer.A few more days later they manage to communicate and we get a broadband engineer, he says our line from the exchange to our house is fine and the problem is either our profile settings or Talktalks equipment at the exchange.The past few days my disconnects have stopped happening from 7pm 11pm when I game, however my speeds are completely fustrating 0.3mb at peak times 6/7pm + and I get a disconnect at 12pm + now. Someone has obviously been messing with my settings from Talktalks end.They have also decided no it\'s definitely BT\'s problem and want to send another engineer out, we don\'t quite know when because they guy who was ringing/helping us has not called for 4 days now since he promised us he would.VA:F [1.9.21_1169](from 0 votes)

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