Broadband speeds vary

Broadband speeds vary wildly across Britain study reveals

Broadband users in one road suffer a download speed 500 times slower than those in a street enjoying the UK's fastest speed, says recent study.

The online company uSwitch.com has found that in Cromarty Road, Stamford, Lincolnshire, the average broadband speeds is 0.132Mbps, while Willowfield, in Telford and Wrekin, registers speeds of 70.9Mbps over the past six months.

Lincolnshire has three of the top 10 slowest streets for broadband in the country. The recorded speeds found in this county are around 37 times slower than the national average of 9Mbps, the survey revealed.

Elsewhere, in Essex, there are four of the slowest streets in the UK yet the county also boasts the third fastest - Cromwell Road in Southend-on-Sea.

It is estimated to take Willowfield residents two minutes and 49 seconds to download a two hour film, and 11 seconds to download a music album. Comparatively, Cromarty Road residents need to wait 25 hours and 15 minutes to download a two hour film, and one hour and 41 minutes to download the same album.

It is reported that Lincolnshire's Burghley Road in Lincoln the broadband registered "negligible" speeds of 0.259Mbps. In Woodlands Drive in Colsterworth there were also similarly negligible speeds of 0.346Mbps.

uSwitch has recorded that those who live on Ledbury Road in Wellington Heath, Herefordshire, "would probably be better off sending snail mail than an email" with their average download speed of 0.192Mbps. This is second slowest broadband speed in the country.

The third slowest is Halsey Drive in Edzell, Aberdeenshire. Here speeds of 0.25Mbps means, calculations estimate, downloading one song would take two minutes and 40 seconds.

There was, however, wide variation in London speeds, with South View Road in Haringey having an average speed of 0.639Mbps.

uSwitch broadband spokeswoman, Julia Stent, has said: "The massive discrepancy between the fastest and slowest streets in Britain shows what the Government is up against in its fight to drag Britain into the broadband fast-lane.

"These results show just how ambitious it is being in its bid to overtake the rest of Europe and haul Britain in line with the likes of South Korea and Singapore by bringing super-fast broadband to 90% of the UK.

Ms. Stent also noted that: "Rural parts of Britain in particular are still experiencing broadband speeds so slow that they might as well have no broadband at all.

The lack of broadband efficiency in rural Britain reveals a bias in government policy as Ms. Stent went to state: "But worryingly, the Government's superfast broadband rollout is heavily geared towards urban areas, which will only widen the rural-urban broadband gap. It's concerning that the main aim isn't providing a decent broadband service to those areas still lacking basic broadband infrastructure and bringing acceptable average speeds to those in rural areas who have been forever languishing in the slow lane.

The problem is not only a policy problem in the bias towards urban area. It is local government’s inability to recognise the scope of the problem. Ms. Stent went onto say that:

"Britain's slowest streets for broadband are not in particularly remote areas, but in small towns, nearer to exchanges and where we would expect to see higher download speeds across the board.Part of the problem is that Government funding for superfast broadband is being dished out to councils, who don't necessarily have a full view of the big picture."

Ms. Stent offered advice for those experiencing slow download speeds: "Ultimately, anyone frustrated with their broadband service should test their speeds regularly online and compare the results to those of other broadband users in the same area. If the tests reveal that another provider is offering better speeds in your local area, consider switching."

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said: "The Government's broadband roll-out will result in faster speeds for rural and urban areas alike, and is specifically designed to close the rural-urban broadband divide and promote economic growth. We are investing £530 million to roll out high speed broadband for rural communities.

"Government has worked very closely with local authorities and is confident that the plans they have put forward will allow us to reach our ambition to have the fastest broadband in Europe."

The five slowest streets for average broadband speeds are:

  1. Cromarty Road, Stamford, Lincolnshire
  2. Ledbury Road, Wellington Heath, Herefordshire
  3. Halsey Drive, Edzell, Aberdeenshire
  4. Burghley Road, Lincoln, EssexLincolnshire
  5. Harwich Road, Clacton-on-Sea, 

The five fastest streets for average broadband speeds are:

  1. Willowfield, Telford, Telford and Wrekin
  2. Darwin Avenue, Allenton, Derby
  3. Cromwell Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex
  4. Poplars Way, Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire
  5. Merkland Road, Aberdeen, Aberdeen City

This survey was conducted by uSwitch. The company conducted 2,261,336 speed tests through its website between April and September 2012 and the sample required streets to have at least 30 registered speed tests to be included.

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