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A new report has found that more than a quarter of UK homes do not have fast enough broadband to cope with a typical family’s internet needs.
The uSwitch study found that Greenmeadows Park in Gloucestershire has slowest broadband in the UK, with an average download speed of 0.14Mbps. That download speed is 1,899 times slower than the UK’s fastest street, Abdon Avenue in Birmingham, where average speeds have reached 265.89Mbps over the past year.
This means that it would take more than 102 hours to download a two-hour HD film on Netflix and at least 38 hours to download a 45-minute HD TV show in Greenmeadows Park. Comapritively, it would take less than four minutes to download the same film and just 72 seconds to download the same TV show on Abdon Avenue.
Looking nationally, 26 per cent of the UK’s estimated 28 million households are getting by on speeds of less than 10Mbps, the level that Ofcom claims is the bare minimum requirement for a modern household. More regionally, 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.
Whilst speeds are slower than expected in many households, the research also found that 35 per cent of residents have the option of getting superfast broadband but are either unaware that a better service is available or choose not to upgrade.
Dani Warner, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, said: “This research lays bare the extent of the UK’s digital divide. Streets that are relatively close geographically can be light years apart when it comes to the download speeds they are getting. Awareness of fibre broadband availability continues to be the biggest hurdle to people getting faster download speeds. Over a third of the slowest streets have access to superfast speeds, so people living there have no need to be crawling along on completely unusable internet services. The industry should be doing more to help consumers understand what sort of broadband they can get at home. And for those who can’t yet obtain faster speeds – which the industry is directly aiming to address with the rollout of full-fibre – improvements really can’t come soon enough.”
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