The average UK broadband speed is 6.2Mbps, according to Ofcom research.

Research by the regulator revealed the average speed is up from 5.2Mbps – the figure recorded in May last year. However, the average achieved speed is less than half the average advertised broadband speed of 13.8Mbps.

"The research shows that ISPs need to do more to ensure they are giving customers clear and accurate information about the services they provide and the factors that may affect the actual speeds customers will receive," said Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards.

"It is important that the rules around broadband advertising change so that consumers are able to make more informed decisions based on the adverts they see, and that advertisers are able to communicate more clearly how their products compare to others in the market."

Ofcom also revealed fibre services, including those from Virgin Media offered average speeds that were much closer to advertised 'up to' speeds than ADSL services. On average, fibre services delivered between 90 and 96 per cent of the advertised speeds. Virgin Media's highest speed 50Mbp package delivered an average download speed of around 46Mbps.

Ofcom's research comes as the regulator's consumer panel called for 'up to' speeds to be banned in broadband advertising as the phrase is "no longer credible".

In a submission to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcasting Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), which are currently investigating broadband advertising at the request of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the regulator called for 'up to' speeds to be "replaced by some type of typical speed descriptor".

 Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media, said: "Ofcom's latest report is yet another damning indictment that consumers continue to be treated like mugs and misled by ISPs that simply cannot deliver on their advertised speed claims”.

"We support Ofcom’s call for all ISPs to publish the typical real world speeds they’re delivering to customers so people know exactly what to expect and what they’re paying for. In a nascent market for next generation broadband, the sub-standard fibre optic services being sold are undermining people’s faith in fast broadband. Consumers shouldn't have to suffer from this speed lottery and have a right to get what they pay for."