Sleepy Suffolk lane suffers UK's slowest broadband
Residents of a quiet semi-rural Suffolk lane are suffering the slowest broadband speeds in the UK, according to recent speed test data collected by a price comparison service.
Thorpe Lane in Trimley St Martin, three miles north of Felixstowe, has an average speed 260 times slower than the fastest street - Benford Avenue in the North Lanarkshire town of Motherwell - and 53 times slower than the UK average, according to data for the last 12 months collated by uSwitch, a division of FTSE 250 firm ZPG.
Average speeds at Thorpe Lane were 0.68 Mbps, while average speeds on Benford Avenue peaked at 177.01 Mbps over the last 12 months, with the UK average coming in at 36.2 Mbps.
On Thorpe Lane, uSwitch said it would take more than 21 hours to download a two-hour HD film on Netflix, and almost eight hours to download a 45-minute HD TV show.
By contrast, on Benford Avenue it would take less than five minutes to download the two-hour film and 109 seconds to download the 45-minute TV show.
According to the research, which uSwitch said was based on more than one million “real world” speed tests run by broadband users over the last year, one in five broadband users were struggling with speeds of less than 10Mbps, while almost one in 10 crawled along at less than 5Mbps.
However, the number of broadband users enjoying faster speeds was growing.
Nearly four in 10 customers now received average speeds of at least 30Mbps, which was up from 22% two years ago.
But despite the fact that “fibre” broadband is supposed to be available to 95% of UK households by the end of this year, a recent survey by uSwitch found that only 57% of customers believed they could access it in their local area.
“It is astonishing to think that you could fly to Sydney in Australia in the time it takes to download a film on the UK’s slowest street,” said uSwitch broadband expert Ewan Taylor-Gibson.
“While cable services offering the fastest broadband speeds aren’t available at any of the UK’s slowest streets, fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband should be accessible at more than two thirds of the most sluggish postcodes, something that might be a surprise to those that have been frustrated enough to run a speed test.”
Taylor-Gibson said that while the regulator Ofcom was proposing having providers give more information on what speeds consumers should expect, he believed that unless the information was presented transparently, in a way that enabled broadband users to compare the available options side-by-side, the changes would not be truly effective.
“What consumers want to know is what they are getting now and how that compares to services they could access.
“Only then will consumers be fully empowered to make an informed decision about which service is right for their needs.”
Ewan Taylor-Gibson’s advice to unhappy consumers was to let their provider know as soon as possible.
“Reasons for such sluggish broadband speeds can vary and can include a user’s distance from the nearest exchange or difficulties with the property itself - thickness of walls, for example, can affect wireless connections.
“While there are measures that your broadband provider can offer to improve your signal, such as moving your router to reduce interference from other electronics, physically connecting your devices to the router using an ethernet cable and Wi-Fi boosters, it might be worth seeing if faster services are available in your area.”
30 slowest streets for broadband in the UK
- Thorpe Lane, Trimley St Martin, Felixstowe, Suffolk
- Cawcliff Lane, Wilton, Pickering, North Yorkshire
- Old Road, Maisemore, Gloucester, Gloucestershire
- Creeting Lane, Creeting St Peter, Ipswich, Suffolk
- Opies Terrace, Four Lanes, Redruth, Cornwall
- Hatton Green, Warwick, Warwickshire
- Saltney Gate, Holbeach, Spalding, Lincolnshire
- Rimini Road, Andover, Hampshire
- Ashdown Drive, Chorley, Lancashire
- Oldfort Road, Omagh, County Tyrone
- Goudhurst Court, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
- Thirlmere Drive, Essington, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
- Nuthurst Street, Nuthurst, Horsham, West Sussex
- Noak Hill Road, Billericay, Essex
- The Gardens, Compton, Paignton, Devon
- Sixteen Foot Bank, Stonea, March, Cambridgeshire
- Kirkthorpe Lane, Heath, Wakefield, West Yorkshire
- Craigflower Road, Glasgow
- Pentland Way, Grangemouth, Stirlingshire
- Thomas Penson Road, Gobowen, Oswestry, Shropshire
- Willow Corner, Bayford, Hertford, Hertfordshire
- Primrose Way, Minster on Sea, Sheerness, Kent
- Bankhead, Milnathort, Kinross, Perth and Kinross
- Slade Lane, Homer, Much Wenlock, Shropshire
- Three Sisters Lane, Prestbury, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
- Church Lane, Kirkby-la-Thorpe, Sleaford, Lincolnshire
- Shakespeare Avenue, Rayleigh, Essex
- Glan-y-Nant, Fochriw, Bargoed, Gwent
- Willow Close, Brinsworth, Rotherham, South Yorkshire
- Wye Road, Boughton Lees, Ashford, Kent
30 fastest streets for broadband in the UK
- Benford Avenue, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
- Sheskin Gardens, Derry, County Londonderry
- Crosswood Road, Swindon, Wiltshire
- Astill Lodge Road, Leicester, Leicestershire
- Olive Hill Road, Halesowen, West Midlands
- Bonny Grove, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire
- Red Willow, Harlow, Essex
- Arden Oak Road, Birmingham, West Midlands
- Airbles Crescent, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
- Dearden Street, Little Lever, Bolton, Greater Manchester
- Holmrook Road, Carlisle, Cumbria
- Ullswater Drive, Wetherby, West Yorkshire
- Chestnut Drive, Pinner, Greater London
- Kingsdyke Avenue, Glasgow
- Oaklands Grove, Waterlooville, Hampshire
- Chatham Road, Kingston upon Thames, Greater London
- Wordsworth Drive, Rotherham, North Yorkshire
- Claybridge Road, London, Greater London
- Simshill Road, Glasgow
- Fairmead Mews, Lower Burraton, Saltash, Cornwall
- Baxter Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, Essex
- Acer Close, Lincoln, Lincolnshire
- Larch Avenue, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside
- Inmans Road, Hull, East Yorkshire
- Hempstead Road, Gillingham, Kent
- Beechfield Road, Smethwick, West Midlands
- Bodmin Avenue, Slough, Berkshire
- Taeping Street, London, Greater London
- The Rake, Wirral, Merseyside
- Mauchline Court, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire
Source: uSwitch.com Broadband Speed Tracker