UK broadband survey reveals major speed variations

UK price comparison service uSwitch has published a list of the speeds actually achievable in 42 towns and cities and it reveals a large gap between the fastest and slowest.

According to the uSwitch list Middlesborough is the fastest UK broadband town, with an average download speed of 34.5 Mbps. Hull, by contrast, is almost three times slower at 12.5 Mbps. Many of the biggest cities are at the lower end of the scale, with London only managing 22.5 Mbps and Edinburgh 21 Mbps.

Pointing out that Hull is a special case as it is the only town on the list not to have BT lines, uSwitch’s Ewan Taylor-Gibson asked why many others are so slow.

“The UK’s cities should be leading the charge when it comes to broadband speeds, yet just 22 cities have broadband users with average speeds of more than 24Mbps,” he said. “With capital cities like London and Edinburgh not on that list, we should be asking what more can be done to encourage the adoption of superfast broadband now it’s so widely available.

“The Government’s latest rollout figures reveal superfast broadband is now available to over 90% of homes and businesses in the UK and counting, with £1.7 billion pledged to bring that figure to 95% by 2017. But our data suggests take up isn’t high enough – even in our biggest cities. With fibre ever more available, home broadband users need to know it’s there, and it needs to be priced right, too.”

Rank UK City/Town Average download speed (Mbps) 9 Aug 2015 to 8 Feb 2016
1 Middlesbrough 34.46
2 Belfast 34.34
3 Brighton 33.80
4 Swindon 31.83
5 Nottingham 30.43
6 Cardiff 30.23
7 Bristol 28.63
8 Huddersfield 27.71
9 Plymouth 27.33
10 Southampton 27.03
11 Sunderland 26.73
12 Liverpool 26.60
13 Bournemouth 26.57
14 Glasgow 26.32
15 Leeds 26.18
16 Birmingham 25.79
17 Wigan 25.52
18 Barnsley 25.34
19 Leicester 24.76
20 Derby 24.54
21 Warrington 24.52
22 Preston 24.41
23 Manchester 23.81
24 Stoke-on-Trent 23.20
25 Reading 22.73
26 Northampton 22.64
27 Coventry 22.48
28 London 22.44
29 Swansea 22.29
30 Bradford 21.93
31 Peterborough 21.79
32 York 21.29
33 Newport 21.24
34 Newcastle 21.14
35 Edinburgh 21.07
36 Norwich 19.43
37 Doncaster 18.38
38 Sheffield 18.36
39 Wakefield 17.49
40 Milton Keynes 17.10
41 Aberdeen 15.67
42 Hull 12.42


Incidentally the Institute of Customer Service has also published a report, which concludes that the UK has the highest customer satisfaction rates in Europe when it comes to the telecoms and media sector. However the sector on the whole has the lowest customer satisfaction rating in comparison with the five other sectors surveyed.

“It’s encouraging to see that the UK’s telecoms and media sector is achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction – particularly as this sector is one of the lowest ranked across Europe,” said CEO Jo Causon. “However, as the data also shows, this doesn’t necessarily translate into customer trust putting the onus on UK companies to look at tangible ways of building greater confidence among their customers to ensure long-term – and sustainable – loyalty.

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