Home broadband speeds across the UK have soared in the last year, according to Ofcom.

The communications watchdog’s annual survey found that average download speeds were up 28 per cent on the previous year and stand at 46.2 megabits per second while upload speeds rose a massive 44 per cent to 6.2mbps.

The biggest gains were in urban areas, with 59 per cent of connections delivering average speeds topping the ‘superfast’ threshold of 30mbps over the 8-10pm peak period, when many of us now stream services such as Netflix.

Only 17 per cent at those times were under 10mbps.

However rural areas continue to lag well behind, with only 23 per cent of connections greater than 30mbps over the same hours while 53 per cent were under 10mbps.

England had the fastest average download speed of the UK’s four countries with 47.8mbps, followed by Scotland (43.6mbps), Northern Ireland (39.2mbps) and Wales (33.4mbps).

Ofcom said Virgin delivered the fastest download speeds, with its ‘up to 200mbps’ deal averaging 193.6mbps over a 24-hour period.

It was followed by Virgin’s ‘up to 100mbps’ cable then the 76mbps offerings of TalkTalk, Sky, Plusnet, EE and BT.

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Beginning later this month, providers must quote average peak-time speeds in their adverts and other promotional materials rather than ‘up to’ claims.

The typical household now consumes 190 gigabytes of data a month.