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Slow take-up for superfast broadband

Tests on 42 towns and cities across the UK suggest almost half have average broadband speeds below 24Mbs, according to comparison site uSwitch

Hull, with an average of 12.4Mbps, is the UK’s slowest city, whilst London and Edinburgh had average speeds of 22.4Mbps and 21Mbps respectively. The speeds are likely to be low not because of lack of availability but because people have chosen not to take up faster services.

Government figures suggest superfast broadband – 24Mbps or higher – is now available to more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses, with funding pledged to bring that total to 95 per cent by 2017.

According to BT, its fibre services are available to 24 million homes, but only 22 per cent (5.5 million) have connected to them.

Hull is the only UK city not served by BT’s Openreach, which controls the telecoms network. Hull’s independent supplier, KCOM, disputed the findings.

“We’re rolling out ultrafast fibre to the home across Hull and East Yorkshire, which means speeds of 250Mbps are available to consumers right now,” said a KCOM spokesman.

The company says it is connecting “a new customer to fibre every 30 minutes”. But uSwitch’s Ewan Taylor-Gibson said: “Actual speed tests taken by broadband users would suggest this hasn’t reached enough homes yet to make an impact on the average.”

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