UK’s Slowest Streets For Broadband Named And Shamed

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slow internet

Speed tests collected by uSwitch.com show small village near Wigan gets just 0.14Mbps download speed

New research from uSwitch.com shows that the average broadband download speed in the UK is 46.2Mbps.

But the speed tests also show that a quarter (26.3 percent) of British homes struggle to achieve the bare minimum broadband speed for the typical family’s internet needs, such as downloading films or watching TV on Netflix.

These home can only gain speeds of less than 10Mbps, and one in eight (13.3 percent) crawl along below 5Mbps. Ofcom states that a modern household requires 10Mbps as the minimum speed.

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Postcode lottery

So where are the slowest broadband speeds in the UK?

Well that dubious honour goes to a small village near Wigan, after Greenmeadows Park in Bamfurlong, Gloucestershire was named as the slowest street for broadband is with average download speeds of 0.14Mbps.

In Greenmeadows Park it would take more than 102 hours to download a two-hour HD film on Netflix and at least 38 hours to download a 45-minute HD TV show.

Uswitch.com said this is 1,899 times slower than Abdon Avenue in Birmingham, which boasts average speeds of 265.89Mbps.

And it seems the north doesn’t fair too well, with nine of the UK’s slowest streets found north of the Mersey. This includes including South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, North Yorkshire, Scotland and Merseyside.

More than a third (35 percent) of the slowest streets have access to superfast or fibre broadband.

So where are the fastest connections? Well the South West dominates the speed rankings, with five of the UK’s fastest streets in Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and Wiltshire.

Digital divide

And it seems that homeowners need to get more knowledgable how what connections are on offer in their area, as despite the fact that superfast broadband availability has increased to 95 percent as of May 2018, just over half (56 percent) of Brits believe they can access it in their local area.

“This research lays bare the extent of the UK’s digital divide,” said Dani Warner, broadband expert at uSwitch.com. “Streets that are relatively close geographically can be light years apart when it comes to the download speeds they are getting.”

“It’s almost comical that it would take someone in Bamfurlong more than 100 hours to download a two-hour HD film, such as Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, yet someone living just an hour’s drive away on Abdon Avenue in Birmingham can download the same film in just over four minutes,” Warner said.

“Awareness of fibre broadband availability continues to be the biggest hurdle to people getting faster download speeds,” she noted. “Over a third of the slowest streets have access to superfast speeds, so people living there have no need to be crawling along on completely unusable internet services. The industry should be doing more to help consumers understand what sort of broadband they can get at home. And for those who can’t yet obtain faster speeds – which the industry is directly aiming to address with the rollout of full-fibre – improvements really can’t come soon enough.”

Full fibre

In July this year, the government pledged to ensure that the UK will enjoy “full fibre broadband coverage across all of the UK by 2033.”

The ambitious plan will see the insistence of full fibre broadband for all new build homes, and a new priority to connect hard-to-reach rural areas.

It comes after the Chancellor Philip Hammond in May outlined his plan to invest in infrastructure to bolster the post Brexit economy in the years ahead. He pledged then to ensure that most homes and businesses (15 million premises) would by 2025 enjoy the benefits of a “full-fibre” connection.

BT Openreach has already planned to reach 12 million homes by the end of the decade using a combination of fibre to the premise (FTTP) and G.Fast, which speeds up copper connections.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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