The UK's worst towns for 3G mobile broadband

Milton Keynes is the slowest town in the UK for 3G mobile broadband speeds, according to research from broadband comparison site

Its speed is a whopping 34% slower than the UK average.'s research into the 10 worst towns and cities for 3G mobile broadband speeds, shows smartphone users in the Buckinghamshire town are subject to an average speed of 1.73 megabits per second (Mbps) compared to the UK average of 2.62 Mbps.

Leicester and Huddersfield didn't fare much better with speeds only at 2.01Mbps and 2.17 Mbps respectively.

Birmingham, the UK's second biggest city, also made it into the top 10 with an average speed of 2.43 Mbps.

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The top 10 was compiled using speed tests on all the major networks – O2, T Mobile, 3, Vodafone and Orange over a four–month period.

Alex Buttle, director of, says there is a big gap in 3G connectivity across the UK despite the government's pledged endeavour to improve things.

"Across large swathes of the UK, and worringly in some of the country's largest towns and cities, 3G mobile broadband speeds simply aren't up to scratch."

The regulator Ofcom recently unveiled its plans for the next generation of mobile communications technology, but Buttle thinks networks need to first of all ensure their 3G speeds are satisfactory.

He adds: "Advancements in mobile communications technology will be crucial if Britain hopes to remain an economic force on the world stage and compete in the global market."

"More and more businesses are reliant on mobile broadband, but without adequate investment in the telecoms infrastructure, aspirations of mobile broadband speeds 16 to 20 times faster than are currently achievable will be just a pipe dream."

You can check 3G speeds in your local area with's StreetStats: or download its 3G mobile broadband speed test iPhone app.

UK's 10 worst 3G mobile broadband towns and cities (Mbps)

Milton Keynes 1.73 Mbps
Leicester 2.01 Mbps
Huddersfield 2.17 Mbps
Cardiff 2.18 Mbps
Liverpool 2.21 Mbps
Blackburn 2.23 Mbps
Stevenage 2.23 Mbps
Hull 2.35 Mbps
Stafford 2.37 Mbps
Birmingham 2.43 Mbps


Your Comments

These people should cherish their luck.................they should think about those of us who can't even get a signal.

Before tinkering with the speed they are getting, just provide us with the chance to get a signal however slow it may be.

I wonder if Scotland has been included in the 'UK' as some areas are unable to get broadband at all unless they sign up to a satellite company of which there is usually a choice of one in the area

All except 1 north of Watford, who says there is no divide between north & South ?

Is there a reason there are no Scottish towns listed?

I can tell you that Milton Keynes/Bedford (same postcode) is just as bad for fixed line broadband too. I was paying Sky for "up to" 20MB broadband, and only getting a maximum of 2.5, on a good day, with wind behind. This I was told was due to my distance from the exchange, not that I have any idea where this exchange is.. Apparently BT Infinity is coming in July - not before time!

Does realise Scotland is in the UK??????

Hi Scotland, they've forgotten that Northern Ireland is part of the U.K.too.

Not good here either in Wolverley near Kidderminster. Very low speeds and mobile phone coverage is virtually impossible.

I live in Catfield, Gt Yarmouth. The most I ever get is .58!

Try Fort William and/or Ardnamurchan!

Milton Keynes should count its blessings. I live just under 6Km from an exchange and get, on a good day, 0.43 megs whilst paying for "up to 8 megs"

what are nthey prepared to do about this problem?

I'll second that. I'm in Cookley but use the same exchange. Everything needs updating but none of the providers will invest the money, so there are only certain packages we can have (the most expensive of course). Cable is out of the question (rural).

usual story
where does N.Ire fit in

All broadband signals travel at or near to the speed of light, no matter where you live or who your ISP is - you just cannot get anything faster! On the other hand, Data Transfer Rates do vary, depending upon your location, time of day, conflicts, etc.

All broadband signals travel at or near to the speed of light, no matter where you live or who your ISP is - you just cannot get anything faster! On the other hand, the Data Transfer Rate that you achieve can vary with the time of day, where you live, who your ISP is, your set up, etc.

Recently when switching ISP from Pipex to Sky I was left without a service provider and broadband service for 4 weeks.Sky offered me credit for a mobile dongle which after advice I bought at PC world. Might as well got a carrier pigeon!!! if and when I did get a connection it was so slow that everything timed out. I tried it all over at different locations in Northern Ireland maybe this is why NI does not show in the broadband speed tests. In fact my local O2 shop would not sell me a dongle as they knew there was no point as it would not work. PC World took my money and when I complained they told me that I should not have opened the package as this meant they could not give a refund!!!! how was I supposed to use it?? My advice is if you are in NI dont even bother with a dongle ..go for a holiday and avoid the stress untill your ISP gets sorted

Orange had the nerve to sell me a dongle last year (as I awaited our broadband connection by BT - which lied to me about connection time and supposed d/i speed, but that is another horrific story - I will cancel them as soon as I can!) and the dongle wouldn't work in my area. Drag back to the Orange store, after a call to tech support, to find out the store never should have sold me a dongle since they don't work here.

Typical screw-up.

I live in California. The most I ever get is .58
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