UK universities with most improved broadband speeds

Broadband, News
Image: University of East London
  • The University of East London has seen the biggest improvement in broadband speed, with an increase averaging 165Mbps (+237%)
  • Swansea University has seen a decline in broadband speeds averaging 30.54Mbps (-39%)
  • Broadband speeds at Edinburgh Napier University are over five times faster than they were in 2019
  • Students attending the University of Stirling experience the slowest Wi-Fi in the UK (9.94Mbps)

Wi-Fi speeds at the University of East London have more than tripled since 2019, skyrocketing by 165Mbps, as almost all of the UK has gained access to superfast broadband. This is the most significant rise seen at any university nationwide.

That’s according to As part of their broadband statistics hub, they used the Ookla application to compare fixed broadband speeds in UK universities during Q1 2019 to Q3 2022, in order to determine which institution has made the greatest improvement in the Wi-Fi quality provided to meet students’ needs. 

The universities with the most improved Wi-Fi speeds

Rank University Location Wi-Fi Speed 2019 Q1 (Mbps) Wi-Fi Speed 2022 Q3 (Mbps) Speed change (Mbps)
1 The University of East London London 69.72 234.71 +165.00
2 Edinburgh Napier University Edinburgh 32.55 192.66 +160.10
3 The University of Southampton Southampton 52.44 210.60 +158.16
4 Ravensbourne London 72.29 223.32 +151.13
5 The University of Cambridge Cambridge 52.88 194.74 +141.86
6 Rose Bruford College London 52.31 187.32 +135.00
7 The Royal Veterinary College London 51.95 183.95 +132.00
8 The University of Greenwich London 48.76 178.43 +129.67
9 The University of Huddersfield Huddersfield 40.29 165.04 +124.75
10 Oxford Brookes University Oxford 63.12 186.95 +123.83 can reveal that students attending the University of East London have experienced the greatest improvement in Wi-Fi quality. Speeds rose by 165Mbps, from 69.72Mbps in Q1 2019, to 234.71Mbps in Q3 2022: a 237% increase. In fact, UEL has the fastest broadband speed of any UK university as of Q3 2022, up from 30th place in Q1 2019.

In comparison, neighbouring Brunel University London ranks much lower: Wi-Fi speeds have increased from 81.42Mbps to 116.54Mbps between Q1 2019 and Q3 2022. Students must accept an improvement of just 35.12Mbps, the 23rd lowest of 150 universities analysed. That’s just 21% of the increase benefiting attendees at the University of East London over the same period.

Edinburgh Napier University places second for its broadband improvements since, with students seeing speeds increase by 160.1Mbps. Edinburgh Napier’s average speed in Q1 2019 (32.55Mbps) was just 17% of the speed reached by Q3 2022 (192.66Mbps). This makes it the 7th fastest university broadband analysed in 2022, compared to the 128th fastest in 2019. 

The universities with the least improved Wi-Fi speeds

Rank University Wi-Fi Speed 2019 Q1 (Mbps) Wi-Fi Speed 2022 Q3 (Mbps) Speed change (Mbps)
1 Swansea University 78.62 48.17 -30.54
2 The University of Stirling 35.82 9.94 -25.88
3 Bournemouth University 120.43 102.08 -18.35
4 University of Ulster 32.34 25.15 -7.19
5 Wrexham Glyndwr University 35.32 38.75 +3.44

Students attending Swansea University (-30.54Mbps), The University of Stirling (-25.88Mbps), Bournemouth University (-18.35Mbps) and University of Ulster (-7.19Mbps) have all seen their Wi-Fi quality drop since 2019. 

University of Stirling students receive the worst Wi-Fi connection analysed with 9.94Mbps, which will likely be too slow for students looking to access or download large files, and is 4% the speeds of the University of East London.

Says Max Beckett, broadband expert at 

“An unreliable internet connection can not only be frustrating, but it can make essential assignments more time-consuming and strenuous than they need to be. One in four students have reported difficulty accessing course content on a poor university internet connection, or even having to share devices with others to complete work.

“Students have also seen the greatest increase in broadband costs over the last 12 months. While the average UK household saw a rise of £3.58, student households have paid almost double this amount, averaging around £7. So with less disposable income and more expensive broadband connections at home, an efficient connection at university is an even greater necessity.

3 tips to optimise your broadband speeds 

  • Streamline your computer: Check to make sure that your device isn’t running any unnecessary programs that may slow it down. Closing any program updates, web pages or security scans can give you a faster speed.
  • Plug yourself in: If possible, connect your device via an ethernet cable for a more reliable connection. Ethernet cables are usually inexpensive, and will almost always improve your connection when plugged directly into your router. Many modern laptops don’t have inbuilt ethernet ports anymore, but you may find it useful to buy an adapter.
  • Keep your device cool: Higher temperatures can add unwanted pressure to your device and slow down your internet connection. To make sure your computer is running at an appropriate temperature, try keeping it out of direct sunlight, and moving yours into a clear space with as much airflow around it as possible. You can also switch off your device for a short while to give it a chance to cool down.”

For more information go to

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to