Rural Broadband Speeds Less Than Half Those Of Urban Areas – Labour


Labour party accuses government of neglecting rural broadband

Rural broadband speeds are less than half of those in cities and towns, according to the Labour Party, which has accused the government of neglecting rural communities.

Labour’s stats are based only on homes with at least some sort of Internet connection and found that a quarter of premises in the UK received less than 2Mbps. The average speed in urban areas was 14.6Mbps, compared to just 5.9Mbps in rural areas.

Rural broadband speeds

Omagh in Northern Ireland was named as the worst connected place in the UK, with 27.4 percent of connected homes either cannot or choose not receive speeds faster than 2Mbps.

This is despite a £48 million project in Northern Ireland to deliver superfast broadband to 95 percent of premises in the country. Only 18 percent of potential customers choose to receive the service, leaving rural areas poorly connected.

The best connected cities are Edinburgh, Bristol, Bournemouth and Hull, where the number of homes with less than 2Mbps was just five percent.

The government recently claimed it was on track to meet its target of having the best broadband in Europe by 2015, and has pledged £530 million for the Broadband Development UK (BDUK) scheme, which seeks to fund the deployment of superfast broadband into rural regions of the nation.

This funding is designed to pay for the deployment of superfast broadband in areas that would not otherwise be covered by BT’s own £2.5bn Infinity fibre deployment, which is going to cover 66 percent of the UK.

BT has so far won all the deals under the initiative so far, prompting a European Union investigation, but BDUK was given Brussels’ blessing earlier this month.

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