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London Underground users get better broadband speeds than millions of homes

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Around 4.4 million homes across the UK are restricted to broadband speeds slower than those available on the London Underground research from Uswitch.com has found.

It said that the average speed on stations and platforms is approximately 19.8Mbps, considerably higher than the millions of households still relying on old ADSL connections that have a maximum speed of 8.8Mbps.

The fastest tube line was the Bakerloo Line, with speeds averaging around 24.2Mbps, closely followed by Northern (23.6Mbps) and the Central Line (23Mbps). The District Line was the slowest, only achieving around 5.6Mbps.

To get the data Uswitch analysed the Wi-Fi speeds across all 99 station platforms in Zone 1 of the Underground network.

Those keen on streaming content while out in London should head to Edgware Road, the report says, where download speeds of 49.7Mbps were recorded – fast enough to download a one-hour TV show in around 48 seconds.

While the average UK broadband speed is 54.2Mbps, ‘real-world’ speed tests have shown that a fifth of people struggle with speeds of less than 10Mbps.

Last year Which? discovered that rural areas like the Orkney Islands and Allerdale fared the worst in the UK for average speeds, but more surprisingly Tower Hamlets and Westminster were also at the bottom of the pile.

Westminster was also named as the slowest station for download speeds, being clocked at 0.9Mbps.

Nick Baker, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, said: “It is amazing that the oldest underground network in the world can provide its users with the means to stay connected and download their favourite programmes while travelling.

“If you’re looking to stay up to date with the latest season of 'The Witcher', you can head over to the Bakerloo line and have it downloaded in no time.

“But the fact that the current Wi-Fi on the tube offers faster connections than 30 per cent of broadband-connected homes in the UK receive, just goes to show the extent of the digital divide across the country.”

Uswitch has released a tool demonstrating the differing speeds at all 99 of the tested stations.

The government has pledged to bring gigabit-speed broadband to every home and business in the UK by 2025, with a £5bn investment for the scheme expected to be announced in today’s Budget.

Yesterday saw the release of free-to-play game ‘Call of Duty: Warzone’, which incurs a minimum download size of 83GB to play. The online release saw some London-based switches report an all-time high for simultaneous internet traffic.

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