Virgin Media broadband has claimed top prize at the annual uSwitch awards, emerging as the UK's Best Broadband Provider based on customer votes and speed test data from uSwitch.com.
Virgin Media snagged the prize at uSwitch.com’s annual Broadband Awards voted for by 2,000 broadband customers and a judging panel of industry experts ahead of runners up Orange (now EE) and Sky.
Richard Branson’s ISP picked up a further three awards at last night's ceremony, including the gold for speed. It took home the coveted Fastest Home Broadband award by achieving a competitive 16.9 mbps download speed on its super-fast fibre optic network in 2012, leaving runners up Plusnet and BT in the dust. Virgin was also recognised in the Innovation Award category for its London Underground Wi-Fi Project.
However, taking the prize for Fastest Mobile Broadband was Three, with the network provider offering smartphone and tablet customers average 3G speeds of 3.8 mbps in 2012.
Although Virgin Media emerged triumphant from the uSwitch broadband awards, Sky was hot on its tails, claiming four awards including Best Pay TV for its original programming and wide ranging channel offerings. Elsewhere, the subscription based TV provider picked up awards for Best Customer Service and Best Technical Support, meaning it understandably arose as the Most Recommended Broadband when voted by UK customers.
Not to be outdone by the competition, BT took home a trio of awards, falling just short of Virgin Media and Sky’s total of four, receiving special plaudits for its offering of juicy bundles, winning the Best Broadband and Home Phone and Best Broadband, TV and Home Phone gongs.
“Despite BT’s impressive ratings in the two bundle and Fibre Broadband award categories, this year has really been a two-horse race between Virgin Media and Sky," Ernest Doku, communications expert at uSwitch said. "Both are notable for offering internet and digital television services - two luxuries fast becoming essential in many UK households.”
With many hunting out the best deal on their broadband packages, those looking to pinch the pennies might like to turn their attentions to Talk Talk, with the YouView provider given the Best Value Home Broadband Award, offering its fast, unlimited broadband from just £3.25 per month (for the first nine months).
“These awards show that in a competitive market, some providers are managing to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. If suppliers keep improving their services and offering better products and deals, consumers will be the real winners. As for those not happy with their current provider, doing their homework and finding a better package can be a New Year’s Resolution that’s easy to keep,” commented Doku.