Internet speeds in millions of households not fast enough to meet a typical family’s needs
More than a quarter of UK homes do not have fast enough broadband to cope with a typical family’s internet needs, such as downloading films and watching series on Netflix, according to a report.
Just over 26% of the UK’s estimated 28 million households are getting
by on speeds of less than 10Mbps, the level the media regulator, Ofcom,
says is the bare minimum requirement for a modern household.
The street with the slowest broadband speed in the UK is Greenmeadows
Park in Bamfurlong, Gloucestershire, where residents have average
download speeds of just 0.14Mbps.
At that speed it would take more than 100 hours to download a two-hour HD film on Netflix, or almost 40 hours for a 45-minute HD TV show, according to the latest consumer speed test report by the price comparison site uSwitch.com.
The UK street with the fastest broadband is Abdon Avenue in Birmingham, with speeds of more than 265Mbps, where it would take under four minutes to download the same film and 42 seconds for the TV show. The two streets are under an hour’s drive from each other.
“This research lays bare the extent of the UK’s digital divide,” said
Dani Warner, a broadband expert at uSwitch. “Streets that are
relatively close geographically can be light years apart when it comes
to the download speeds they are getting.”
The report noted geographic trends. Nine of the streets with the
slowest broadband were in North and South Yorkshire, Teeside, Manchester
and across Scotland. Five of the streets with the fastest broadband
were in south-west England.
The report found that many of the households surveyed did not need to
be stuck in the digital slow lane. Across the UK’s slowest areas for
broadband, 35% of residents have the option of getting superfast
broadband but are either unaware that a better service is available or
choose not to upgrade.
“Awareness continues to be the biggest hurdle to people getting
faster download speeds,” said Warner. “On more than a third of the
slowest streets people have no need to be crawling along on completely
unusable internet services.”
The report estimates that the average broadband download speed across
the UK is 46Mbps, and found the proportion of homes upgrading to faster
services is growing. Nearly a third of users get speeds of 30Mbps or
more, up from 22% three years ago.
Ofcom says there are about 1.1 million “forgotten homes” that cannot access the ideal minimum speed of 10Mbps.
The government has promised all homes and businesses will have a legal right to demand access to services offering speeds of at least 10Mbps by 2020. Broadband providers will face a legal requirement to provide this minimum standard to anyone requesting it, subject to a cost threshold.
1 Broadband Too Slow In More Than A Quarter Of UK Homes – Report Photos