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The UK's average home download speed is on the rise, but it could be even faster if more users upgraded at minimal cost, according to Ofcom.

November's average broadband speed was 7.6 megabits per second, up from 6.8Mbps in May, says the regulator.

Upgrades offered by Virgin Media and BT helped boost the figure.

Ofcom says many of the 42% of homes which subscribe to speeds of 10Mbps or less would benefit from switching deal or provider at little or no cost.

The 22% headline speed bump is a notable improvement, according to the price comparison website broadbandchoices.co.uk.

"In reality, the average speed increase of 1.4Mbits will save you around 6 minutes when downloading a 2 hour film," said Michael Philips, the firm's product director.

"This doesn't sound a lot but faster connections improve your general web-surfing experience and are definitely worth the investment, for example if more than one person shares the connection in a household."

Ofcom noted that the price difference between many of the so-called super-fast services and current generation connections was "relatively small".

It said Plusnet customers could roughly double their promised speed to "up to" 40Mbps by swapping to a service with the firm that cost £5 more a month.

It said TalkTalk clients could enjoy a similar gain by paying their provider an extra £10 a month, while one of BT's deals offered an equivalent speed bump at no extra charge.

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