The 10 best and worst areas for broadband speed

Published by Rebecca Rutt on 17 August 2011.
Last updated on 10 January 2012

map of UK with magnifying glass

Cranbrook in Kent is the slowest area in the UK for internet broadband, according to research from uSwitch.

The speed is five times slower than the national average and more than 14 times slower than Leamington Spa – the UK's fastest town.

The average speed in Cranbrook is 1.32Mb - this means it would take 45 minutes to download a music album and 12 hours for a film.

Next worst on the list is Tregaron in Ceredigion in Wales with a speed of 1.48Mb – four and a half times slower than the national average. Third bottom is Lavant in Sussex with an average speed of 1.65Mb.

King's Lynn in Norwich, Basingstoke in Hampshire and Lowestoft in Suffolk also featured in the list of the bottom 10 areas.

The speedsters

On the other end of the scale Leamington Spa in Warwickshire has the fastest broadband speed of 18.86Mb with Welling in Greater London second with a speed of 18.42Mb and Herne Hill in London third with a speed of 17.89Mb.

This compares to an average speed in the UK of 6.8Mb, according to Ofcom.

Kent and Sussex were the country's two worst counties and geographically the North fared much better with over half of the top 20 worst areas in the South of England.

The research is based on data from 400,000 tests conducted between May and July this year.

Ernest Doku, spokesperson at uSwitch.com, says the research is black and white evidence that thousands of homes are making do with download speeds well below the national average.

 "Fast broadband speeds should be available to everyone, not just for those people living in heavily urbanised areas. These latest figures highlight that, despite considerable investment, many areas of the UK are still living in the broadband dark ages.
 
"Intense competition among broadband providers means that companies such as BT and Virgin Media are rolling out super-fast fibre optic networks as a priority.

"We hope that this will convert into faster broadband for people in every area of the UK, whether urban or rural — and however low the population," he adds.

 

The Moneywise broadband campaign

Last year Moneywise began its faster and better broadband campaign to call on providers, Ofcom and the government to stop dragging their feet and start making improvements to broadband speeds. 

Providers are promising super-fast next-generation services to urban areas but today's research shows they're still ignoring the fact that high speed broadband is still a requirement for rural Britain.

If you're worried about the speed you're receiving make sure you check out our guide on five ways to improve your broadband speed.

The top 10 slowest broadband areas

Location                                   Ave Download Speed (Mb)

Cranbrook, Kent                        1.32Mb
Tregaron, Ceredigion, Wales     1.48Mb
Lavant, Chichester, Sussex       1.65Mb
Charlton Down, Dorset              1.69Mb
Malvern, Worcestershire            1.79Mb
Oswestry, Shropshire                 1.81Mb
King’s Lynn, Norfolk                   1.82Mb
Lowestoft, Suffolk                       1.82Mb
Basingstoke, Hampshire            1.94Mb
Nuneaton, Warwickshire            1.95Mb

The top 10 fastest broadband areas

Location                                           Ave Download Speed (Mb)

Leamington Spa, Warwickshire             18.86Mb
Welling, Greater London                       18.42Mb
Herne Hill, London                                17.89Mb
Kidderminster, Worcestershire              17.36Mb
Northwich, Cheshire                              17.21Mb
North Shields, Newcastle-upon-Tyne    16.98Mb
Oldbury, Worcestershire                        16.92Mb
Broxbourne, Hertfordshire                    16.69Mb
Morden, Greater London                       16.58Mb
Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire             16.37Mb

 

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