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The only way is slow: Wheatley Road in Essex &Erw Fawr in Wales are Britain’s worst streets for broadband

  • Britain’s two slowest streets for broadband have average speeds of 0.60Mbps – 96 times slower than the fastest street and 30 times slower than the UK average speed (17.8Mbps)

  • Essex features six times in the list of the UK’s 50 slowest streets – more than any other county

  • It isn’t just rural areas with sluggish broadband – residents of one highly desirable street in Hampstead, NW London, appear in the list of top 50 slowest streets

  • Four in 10 (40%) Brits are experiencing average speeds of below 5Mbps; while just 15% are experiencing superfast speeds of 30Mbps or above.

With average download speeds of just 0.60Mbps, Wheatley Road in Corringham, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex and Erw Fawr in Henryd, Conwy, Wales have the slowest broadband in Britain – 30 times slower than the UK average speed of 17.8Mbps. That’s according to the latest consumer speed test data collected by Uswitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service.

Roads in Essex feature six times in the list of the UK’s 50 slowest streets – more than any other county. Princes Avenue in Maylandsea, Chelmsford is the slowest Essex street after Wheatley Road. With an average speed of 1.15Mbps, it would take 23 minutes just to download one music album there.

According to the research, which is based on almost two million speed tests run by broadband users over a six-month period, only 15% of Brits are enjoying broadband of 30Mbps or higher – the speed classified by the EU as ‘superfast’. Because Uswitch.com broadband data is based on consumer speed tests, this suggests uptake of superfast connections is low. Figures from Ofcom confirm that superfast broadband is now available to almost three quarters (73%) of the UK, yet only 9% of the population is using it.

Residents of Loundes Road in Unstone, Dronfield, Derbyshire are enjoying the fastest download speeds in the country – of 57.58Mbps. This means homeowners there are receiving average speeds a staggering 96 times faster than Erw Fawr and Wheatley Road. Those living on Britain’s two slowest streets for broadband must wait an average 15.2 hours to download an HD-quality film but, in Loundes Road, residents could be enjoying their favourite movie in high-definition in just nine minutes.

The streets of London feature in both the slowest and fastest lists. The fastest broadband measured in the Big Smoke is to be found in Camel Road (34.62Mbps) in E16, just a stone’s throw from London’s City airport, while the slowest street is Grange Gardens in highly desirable Hampstead (NW3), where the average download speed is just 1.19Mbps.

But the scourge of sluggish speeds isn’t limited to just 50 streets. Four in 10 (40%) Brits are experiencing speeds of under 5Mbps. At 5Mbps, it would take 13 minutes to download just one episode of your favourite TV show.

The table below shows the 50 slowest streets for broadband in the UK:

Source: Uswitch.com Broadband Speed Tracker

The table below shows the 10 fastest streets for broadband in the UK:

Source: Uswitch.com Broadband Speed Tracker

Marie-Louise Abretti, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, says: “There are still areas in the UK which experience broadband speeds so slow the service is negligible. At the same time, superfast broadband connections are becoming more widely available but – as our research suggests – these are clearly not being utilised.

“More needs to be done to increase awareness of availability and cost .Superfast broadband isn’t as expensive as some users might think, with prices starting at £16 per month plus £15 for line rental. Paying line rental upfront can result in savings of around £50 per year and many of the providers have introductory offers. So, for households in the slow lane, superfast broadband could be well worth considering.

“Broadband is now widely considered the fourth utility, but our speed test data shows that not everyone is getting a decent service. Poor connectivity can severely affect local businesses, impact house prices and children’s education, which is why it’s crucial the government keeps its eye on the ball when it comes to improving UK broadband infrastructure, particularly in remote rural areas.

“Anyone frustrated with their broadband service should test their speeds regularly online and compare their results to other local users with different providers. If the tests reveal that another provider is offering better speeds, consider switching.”

Test your broadband speed at: http://www.uswitch.com/broadband/speedtest

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Maja Hauke

Phone: 0207 148 4663

Email: maja.hauke@uswitch.com

Notes to editors

Broadband users ran a grand total of 1,896,977 consumer speed tests during the six-month period August 2013-January 2014 inclusive, using Uswitch.com’s free speed testing tool. In order for a street to qualify for inclusion in the lists above, tests from at least 30 unique IP addresses were required.

  1. Fastest street in UK is Loundes Road 57.58Mbps and the slowest streets are 0.60Mbps. 57.58/0.60 = 96. According to Ofcom, average UK speed is 17.8Mbps. 17.8/0.60 = 29.6.

  2. See tables of UK’s 50 slowest and 10 fastest streets for broadband above.

  3. Taking all 1.8million consumer speed tests into consideration

  4. Calculated using this online tool: http://download.stormloader.com/ File sizes: average HD film 4GB, average 20-song music album 200MB, average TV episode 500MB

  5. For more information on Ofcom’s research click HERE

  6. Based on Q1 2014 Uswitch.com broadband price tracker

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