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Which? reveals best & worst UK broadband speeds

The best and worst areas in the UK for broadband speeds have been revealed following analysis by consumer champion Which?.

The Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and Highland are the three Scottish local authority areas that have been ranked as the worst places in the UK for broadband speeds. Ryedale in Yorkshire and Purbeck in Dorset also finished in the bottom five, with the average recorded test in all those locations falling below 10mbps.

10Mbps is the minimum download speed proposed under the Government’s Universal Service Obligation (USO) that anyone in the UK would be entitled to request. Which? found that, in total, the average test in 11 local authority areas didn’t reach this speed, which is regarded as necessary to meet the typical demands of a family or small business.

Despite the majority of slow download speeds being recorded in rural locations, many local authority areas in big cities, including the capital, are getting below the national average. The London boroughs of Southwark, Westminster, Lambeth, Hackney and the City of London were all found to be lagging behind the UK average, which was identified as 17Mbps in this report.

The fastest local authority areas for broadband speeds were Tamworth in the West Midlands, which came out on top with the average test getting a speed of 30.4Mbps, followed by Reading and Adur in West Sussex.

The research – using data from Speed Checker Ltd from January to March 2017- shows the variance across the UK and the need to improve the speeds people are actually getting. A slow broadband connection can have a huge impact on people’s ability to carry out basic online tasks such as banking and shopping online as well streaming TV shows.

For example, the average household in Ryedale getting 9.0Mbps would take roughly 14 and a half minutes to download the latest Hollywood blockbuster, twice as long as someone with the UK’s average download speed.

Which?’s ‘Fix Bad Broadband’ campaign is calling on people to use its free speed checker to find out what broadband speed they’re currently getting – and, if they’re not getting the speeds they were promised, helps them complain to their provider using a complaint tool.

The consumer champion is gathering insight into speeds across the country to present to Government, regulators and broadband companies to help to improve connections for consumers in the UK.

Which? will be using the data from its speed checker to build up a picture of service in the UK to show to Government, regulators and broadband companies to help them to focus on the worst areas and how they can improve people’s connections.

Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Services, said: “Far too many households across the UK are suffering from slow broadband speeds, which can stop you being able to carry out essential daily tasks. We are encouraging everyone with broadband to use our speed checker so people can see if they are getting the speeds that they’ve been promised by their provider and find out how to complain if their speed is too slow. This will also help to further highlight where problem areas are across the UK, putting pressure on Government and providers to help everyone get a good broadband connection.”

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