London’s Businesses ‘Being Harmed By Slow Broadband’

Parliament Government London © anshar Shutterstock 2012

Capital lagging behind many European capitals when it comes to broadband speeds, says Hyperoptic

Businesses in London are being left behind their counterparts in other European capitals due to slow internet speeds, new research has found.

A study by Hyperoptic found the UK capital ranked only 26th in a survey of 33 European capitals in terms of broadband speeds with an average download speed of just of 26.3Mbps, more than 10Mbps slower than the European average of 36.8Mbps.

Bucharest tops the overall table, with an average speed of 81.2Mbps, with Paris, Vilnius, Stockholm, Bern rounding out the top five.

bucharestCrawl Britannia?

Over the last five years London has dropped four places in the league table, although connection speeds have unsurprisingly increased during this time.

In 2009 the city was ranked 22 out of 33, with an average speed of 7.1Mbps, meaning that speeds have increased 270.3 percent,

However this increase hasn’t been enough to keep up with other European capitals, with the top ten cities increasing their speeds by an average of 448.7 percent.

“The UK government has recognised that there is a clear need for speed, which is why back in 2012 it pledged to have the fastest broadband of any major European country by 2015,” said Boris Ivanovic, chairman of Hyperoptic.

“These figures demonstrate that the UK is a long way from that target. London has long been recognised as a powerhouse of the UK’s digital economy – after all, the capital houses a vibrant tech community and contributes nearly a quarter of the UK’s overall economic output – but its broadband infrastructure clearly isn’t fit for task, let alone the rest of the UK.”

London has seen significant investment in its internet infrastructure over the past few years as the government looks to spur on the UK’s digital economy, which is forecast to rise to £225bn by 2016 according to recent figures from the Boston Consulting Group.

“If the UK wants to maintain its digital leadership there must be a fundamental shift in its urban broadband strategy,” adds Ivanovic. “The government must incentivise the private sector to fast track the implementation of future-proofed Fibre-to-the-Building and Fibre-to-the Home infrastructure across all UK cities and towns.”

Hyperoptic, which says its service is up to 56 times faster than the UK average speed, launched its FTTP network in London in September 2011, and has since extended to over 75,000 homes in Newcastle, Sheffield, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Reading. The company plans to have 500,000 premises connected by 2018 as it looks to take advantage of ever-increasing demand for faster broadband.

However Ofcom has warned that the capital, like many major UK cities, suffers from a number of urban ‘not-spots’ caused by an absence of telephone exchanges to upgrade to fibre because so many buildings have direct connections. This means many businesses are unable to upgrade, having a major effect on average speeds.

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Author: Mike Moore
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