The average UK broadband speed has increased by 10% this year, according to a report published today.

Research from communications regulator Ofcom showed an increase from 6.2 megabits per second in November/December 2010 to 6.8 in May this year.

Almost half (47%) of UK residential broadband users were on packages with advertised speeds above 10mb/s in May, compared with 42% in November 2010 and 8% in April 2009.

However, Ofcom found the gap between actual speeds and advertised "up to" speeds had widened.

The average advertised speed in May 2011 was 15mb/s, compared with 13.8mb/s six months earlier.

The report said superfast broadband is now available to most UK homes and availability continues to grow as it concluded it offered significantly faster speeds than copper ADSL broadband - with much smaller differences between headline speed claims and actual speeds.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: "By publishing this research, Ofcom has encouraged ISPs to invest in faster broadband networks. We are now seeing consumers increasingly move to higher rated services and enjoying genuinely faster speeds.

"Consumers also have access to better broadband information, allowing them to decide which provider to use based on actual speeds they can achieve at home.

"However, the research is still telling us that some consumers are not receiving anywhere near the speeds that are being advertised by some ISPs.

"Ofcom continues to urge the CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) and BCAP (Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice) committees to make changes to their advertising guidance so that consumers are able to make more informed decisions based on the adverts they see."