Every year, uSwitch collects broadband speed test results across the UK to find the places in the country that are missing out on the strong broadband available to their neighbours. Sometimes the coverage reported by providers doesn’t stretch to every property in the area, so we’ve highlighted these ‘not-spots’ to see how slow the broadband can still actually be in this country.
Annual research based on more than 122,000 speed tests run on uSwitch.com over the last year reveals some of the slowest streets in the UK and highlights the significant difference between what speeds customers have access to and what speeds are actually available. It becomes clear that the busiest cities aren’t always the home of the fastest broadband speeds, with average speeds often varying drastically from one postcode to the next.
In 2019, nearly one fifth (19%) of users struggled with broadband slower than 10Mbps, while one in ten (9%) crawl along at less than 5Mbps. However, it’s not all doom and gloom as the number of users with access to faster broadband speeds has also increased, with almost four out of ten users (38%) now getting speeds of more than 30Mbps.
But despite the fact that superfast broadband is now available to 95% of the country, a recent uSwitch survey found that only six in ten Brits (61%) believe they can access it in their local area.
The slowest street in the UK is in York
This year, the street with the slowest broadband speed is Kingsclere, Huntington in York, which — according to the latest consumer speed tests collated by uSwitch.com — has an average download speed of just 0.22Mbps.
At these speeds, it would take a user on Kingsclere about 65 hours to download a two-hour HD movie on Netflix and at least 24 hours to download a 45-minute HD TV episode.
Monksfield Way in Slough, Ash Lane in Whitchurch and Dunlop in Kilmarnock weren’t found to be much better, with average download speeds not even reaching above 0.33Mbps.
Interestingly, York Road in Elvington, which is just a short 16-minute drive from the UK’s slowest street, enjoys ultrafast average broadband speeds of 135.56Mbps. This is more than 616 times faster than their neighbours.
Dani Warner, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, says: “It’s ridiculous to think that it would take someone in York Road, Elvington, less than seven minutes to download a two-hour HD film, yet it would take more than 65 hours for someone living less than a 16 minutes drive away in Kingsclere, Huntington.”
UK’s 10 slowest streets for broadband
What’s interesting is that superfast broadband services are available to seven of the top ten slowest streets in the UK, meaning that if customers in these areas decided to switch to a new provider they could get access to broadband speeds of at least 30Mbps.
Internet that’s over 30 times faster is there for the taking for savvy customers that are looking to switch.
Dani went on to say, “Lack of awareness regarding superfast broadband is one of the biggest obstacles stopping people from getting faster download speeds.
“More than two-thirds of the slowest streets have access to superfast broadband, so we urge residents there to visit uSwitch.com to see what speeds they could be getting.”
The fastest streets in the UK
The fastest street in the UK by a fairly wide margin is Darwin Street in Livingston, which is reported to have an average download speed of 182.52Mbps; 800 times faster than poor old Kingsclere.
The second-fastest street is the aforementioned York Road in Elvington, and the third-fastest is Chestnut Grove in New Malden which both see similar speeds of 135.56 and 134.34Mbps respectively.
UK’s ten fastest streets for broadband
Most-improved broadband speeds this year
York also appears on the list of most-improved streets for broadband speeds. The Willows in Acaster Malbis, York appeared in the top 10 slowest streets of 2018, with snail-paced speeds of 0.46Mbps being the average at the time.
Jump forward one year and the same street now has an average download speed of 18.85Mbps, which is by far the largest improvement of last year’s slowest streets for broadband speed.
Slowest streets by region
You would think that the UK capital — and one of the world’s global cities — would be home to some of the best broadband speeds in the country, but while there’s plenty of good internet in London, there are some seriously slow streets in boroughs like Wandsworth, where the slowest connection is in a stylish apartment block on Inner Park Road. Here the average download speed is a measly 1.27Mbps.
Manchester is making a name for itself as a major tech hub in the UK, but fantastic internet access isn’t necessarily a given in this major metropolis. Portfield Walk is Manchester’s slowest street for broadband, averaging just 2.08Mbps download speeds.
The slowest street in Glasgow is Main St, Killearn, which has an average download speed of 6.72Mbps. While this is slow for a big city like Glasgow, it’s a lot better than most of the other UK regions.
Belfast’s slowest street is Quarterland Road, Killinchy, Newtownards, which is in a predominantly rural farming area. It has an average download speed of 0.49Mbps, which is barely enough to even check your Instagram.
The slowest street in Bristol is St Davids Crescent in St Anne’s Park. At 1.97Mbps, the average download speed for the street would cause some serious streaming problems.
As one of the biggest cities in the North of England, it’s shocking to see an average download speed of 0.78Mbps for an entire postcode in Leeds. Residents of Swallow Drive in Moortown would struggle to do much of anything online with those download speeds.
Ogle Street in Hucknall takes the title of the slowest street in Nottingham, although, in comparison to the likes of London and Belfast, 4.81Mbps isn’t too terrible.
Norwich’s slowest street for broadband speeds is The Loke, East Beckham which sees average download speeds of 0.56Mbps, making it one of the slowest streets in the entire of the UK.
If you think you could get faster speeds in your area, try our broadband speed test. It’ll give you your average broadband speed and suggest some fast broadband deals to switch to.