Which are the fastest and slowest streets for broadband? Survey reveals massive difference in speeds across UK

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The UK’s worst street for broadband speed is almost 2,000 times slower than the fastest, an annual survey has found.

Greenmeadows Park in Bamfurlong, Gloucestershire has average downloads speeds of 0.14 megabits per second (Mbps), 1,899 times slower than Abdon Avenue in Birmingham which boasts average speeds of 265.89Mbps, uSwitch found.

The speeds mean Greenmeadows Park residents would need to set aside more than 102 hours to download a two-hour HD film on Netflix and at least 38 hours to download a 45-minute HD TV show, while those living on Abdon Avenue would take less than four minutes to download the same film and just 72 seconds to download the same TV show.

The average speed in the UK is 46.2Mbps, yet a quarter (26.3%) of homes struggle with speeds of less than 10Mbps and one in eight (13.3%) crawl along below 5Mbps, the comparison site’s study shows.

The South West dominates the speed rankings – five of the UK’s fastest streets are in Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and Wiltshire – while nine of the slowest streets can be found north of the Mersey, including in South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, North Yorkshire, Scotland and Merseyside.

The number of broadband users enjoying faster speeds is growing with nearly a third (31%) now getting speeds of 30-plus Mbps, up from less than a quarter (22%) three years ago.

But speeds are still a “postcode lottery”, uSwitch said, with areas such as South Yorkshire and Cambridge experiencing some of the fastest and some of the slowest broadband.

Superfast broadband is available on more than a third (35%) of the UK’s slowest streets, but a lack of awareness that a better service is accessible is resulting in many being resigned to poor download speeds.

Dani Warner, broadband spokeswoman at uSwitch.com, said: “This research lays bare the extent of the UK’s digital divide. Streets that are relatively close geographically can be light years apart when it comes to the download speeds they are getting.

“It’s almost comical that it would take someone in Bamfurlong more than 100 hours to download a two-hour HD film yet someone living just an hour’s drive away on Abdon Avenue in Birmingham can download the same film in just over four minutes.

“Awareness of fibre broadband availability continues to be the biggest hurdle to people getting faster download speeds. Over a third of the slowest streets have access to superfast speeds, so people living there have no need to be crawling along on completely unusable internet services.”

Responding to the uSwitch report on broadband speeds, an Openreach spokesperson said:

“There are more than 17.5 million homes and businesses in the UK that can order a better service over our network today, but who haven’t yet upgraded – meaning they lose out on more reliable, resilient connections that would allow them to work from home, access every entertainment platform, and manage smart home devices at the same time without so much as a second thought.

 “At Openreach, we are committed to playing our part in upgrading the country to better broadband. One of the ways in which we do so is by offering long-term price reductions for our wholesale fibre products, which we hope will encourage providers to upgrade their customers onto the faster, more dependable services we’ve built. We encourage customers to get in touch with their providers today and discover what might be on offer in their area.”

Chris Price