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Glasgow named as the UK city with the most unequal broadband speeds

Image credit: DT

Glasgow has been identified as the city with the UK’s biggest broadband speed gap, with its quickest area getting speeds 866 times faster than the slowest, just four miles away.

According to Uswitch, Nottingham and Cardiff have the next biggest download rate divides, while Portsmouth, Wolverhampton and Bradford were the most equal.

Edinburgh recorded the highest average speed of 840Mbps, closely followed by Glasgow and Nottingham.

Just 1.2 miles separate the fastest and slowest areas in Brighton – where the city’s best connections are nearly 100 times speedier than the worst.

Uswitch analysed 16,500 consumer speed tests to find that the highest average download speed measured in Glasgow was 840.4Mbps, logged in the Milton district. Yet just four miles away in the suburb of Bearsden, speeds as low as 0.97Mbps were recorded.

This is less than a tenth of the 10Mbps download speed defined as the minimum required for a decent broadband connection as part of the UK Government’s universal service obligation (USO).

Glaswegians relying on the city’s slowest connection would have to wait 11 hours 54 minutes to download a two-hour movie in HD. By contrast, using the city’s quickest connection it would take only 49 seconds.

In its last manifesto, the Conservative Party promised to install full-fibre, gigabit-capable broadband in every home and business across the UK by 2025. This pledge was later downgraded to just 85 per cent of premises in the UK, although MPs have questioned whether even this target is plausible considering the speed of the rollout.

The average UK home broadband download speed is currently 59.4Mbps. Yet the broadband gap between UK households — even those in the same neighbourhood — is widening as many customers upgrade to faster services.

According to Ofcom’s latest figures, 4 per cent of UK households receive an average download speed of under 10Mbps, with the majority using standard copper wire connections. Under the USO they would be able to request an upgrade from their provider.

At the other end of the scale, nearly twice as many broadband customers (7 per cent) now get average ultrafast speeds of over 300Mbps.

Ernest Doku, broadband expert at, says: “While the average UK broadband speed is increasing year on year, not everyone is benefiting.

“We are seeing a large and growing gap between customers benefiting from ultrafast speeds and those who are getting the bare minimum.

“Legacy copper-wire broadband services often struggle to cope with the demands placed on them by busy households with many devices online, and are also more likely to suffer from outages.

“Yet advances in technology and the rollout of infrastructure means that millions of customers have far faster options on their doorstep. And competition among providers offering full fibre services has also helped to deliver better value to consumers.”

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