While rural communities continue to struggle with poor connectivity, a new study has revealed that the UK’s capital is also home to some of the country’s worst boroughs for broadband connectivity
UK consumer watchdog, Which?, has released a new report highlighting Britain’s worst performing areas for broadband connectivity.
Unsurprisingly, rural communities in Scotland and Wales fared particularly badly, with the remote Orkney Islands experiencing the UK’s slowest average speed at just 3Mbps.
Perhaps less predictably, the study also revealed that parts of central London were also among the worst performing boroughs. Tower Hamlets averaged just 10.1Mbps while Westminster managed just 10.8Mbps.
The study suggests that services in these areas were sufficiently poor that consumers could expect to experience difficulties accessing everyday services such as mobile banking and video streaming.
“Having a good broadband connection is a basic requirement for many important everyday tasks, so it is unacceptable that millions of people around the country are still struggling to get what they need," said Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services at Which?.
Under its Universal Service Obligation the UK government has committed to ensuring a minimum broadband speed of 10Mbps is available to everyone who requires it in the UK. The latest figures suggest that around 2 per cent of the UK population is still unable to access speeds of 10Mbps.
“The Universal Service Obligation (USO) will help those in the remaining 2% who are not covered by other network upgrades, however the cost threshold of £3,400 will be a barrier for some premises unless they are willing to pay for expenses over this limit. In 2016 Ofcom estimated that a £3,400 threshold for a USO of 10Mbps download/1Mbps upload would leave 60,000 premises unserved," said Matt Powell, editor at Broadband Genie.
"Some communities will be able to work around this by combining their funding for a connection which serves multiple properties, but others may have to pay a significant sum out of their own pocket, or explore alternatives such as satellite broadband. Mobile broadband may be an option for more rural homes and businesses in the near future as the forthcoming spectrum band auction for mobile services will obligate some bidders to expand into rural areas in order to provide fast mobile internet,” he added.
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