Research from comparison site Uswitch.com shows that broadband speeds across the UK are at their fastest at 5am, but slow by more than a fifth by the time the majority of people are using their PC, laptop or tablet at 9pm.
The range between best and worst speed varies in different parts of the UK with Exeter, Chester and Bath amongst those that saw the biggest difference in speeds, with all three seeing a slow down by more than 50% from peak to trough.
London and Cardiff fare slightly better but still see their broadband speeds drop by around a third.
A spokesman from uSwitch.com, said: “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.”
Most customers are aware of a degradation in service standards with seven out of ten users saying they notice their broadband is sluggish at certain times of the day, with more than half pinpointing the window from 8pm and 10pm as the worst.
Many respondents say the slow speeds have seen them giving up trying to watch films or catch up TV online, while more than a third were frustrated that it had stopped them from working.
The USwitch spokesman suggests “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.”
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