UK’s worst streets for broadband speeds named and shamed

Published by Rachel Lacey on 12 December 2018.
Last updated on 12 December 2018

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Greenmeadows Park, in Bamfurlong, Gloucestershire has the slowest broadband in all of the UK, with average download speeds of just 0.14Mbps, according to new figures from uSwitch.com.

That’s 1,899 times slower than the UK’s fastest street, Abdon Avenue in Birmingham, which boasts average speeds of 265.89 Mbps.

This means it would take residents of Greenmeadows Park more than 102 hours to download a two-hour HD film on Netflix, or 38 hours to download a 45-minute instalment of their favourite box set.

By comparison it would only take those living on Abdon Avenue four minutes to download the film and 72 seconds for the show.

The research was based on over 279,000 'real world' speed tests over the past 12 months.

The average speed across the UK is 46.2 Mbps, however many households struggle with much lower download speeds. A quarter (26.3%) contend with a speed of less than 10 Mbps, while one in eight (13.3%) battle with just 5Mbps.

Thankfully, however, the number of homes enjoying faster broadband speeds is growing. Nearly a third (31.3%) get speeds of 30Mbps or more, up from 22% in 2015.

Perhaps surprisingly, those in the South West are most likely to enjoy super-fast broadband with five of the 10 fastest streets in Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire and Cornwall.

Northerners meanwhile are most likely to struggle with nine of the slowest streets in North and South Yorkshire, Teeside, Manchester and Scotland.

See the list of 20 slowest areas below:

Rank Street Name and Location Average download speed (mbps) Have access to Superfast Broadband?
1 Greenmeadows Park, Bamfurlong, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire 0.143 No
2 Poplar Avenue, Oldham, Greater Manchester 0.221 Yes
3 Chesham Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire 0.249 Yes
4 Cynghordy, Llandovery, Ceredigion 0.267 No
5 St David's Close, Worksop, Nottinghamshire 0.29 No
6 Broomhall, Worcester, Worcestershire 0.291 Yes
7 Milton Road, Cowplain, Waterlooville, Hampshire 0.338 Yes
8 Shaw Lane, Doncaster, South Yorkshire 0.352 No
9 Cross Lane, Bebington, Wirral, Merseyside 0.354 No
10 Pennant, Llanbrynmair, Powys 0.388 No
11 St Margaret's Grove, Redcar, Teesside 0.409 Yes
12 Meggitt Lane, Winteringham, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire 0.423 No
13 Field Lane, Strubby, Alford, Lincolnshire 0.432 No
14 Ha of Gills, Canisbay, Wick, Caithness 0.439 No
15 The Willows, Acaster Malbis, York, North Yorkshire 0.463 No
16 Quarterland Road, Killinchy, Newtownards, County Down 0.465 No
17 Halkburn Road, Galashiels, Selkirkshire 0.466 No
18 May Tree Lane, Waterthorpe, Sheffield, South Yorkshire 0.467 Yes
19 Turnpike Road, Connor Downs, Sheffield, South Yorkshire 0.483 No
20 Southacre Drive, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire 0.484 Yes

Source: uSwitch, December 2018

Postcode lottery

Despite some regional trends, your actual speed is often a postcode lottery, with some South Yorkshire and Cambridge streets, for example boasting some superfast and super slow speeds.

Commenting on the findings, Dani Warner, broadband expert at uSwitch says: “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.

"It’s almost comical that it would take someone in Bamfurlong more than 100 hours to download ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,’ yet someone living just an hour’s drive away on Abdon Avenue in Birmingham can download the same film in just over four minutes.”

Responding an Openreach spokesperson comments:“There are more than 17.5 million homes and businesses in the UK that can order a better service over our network today, but who haven’t yet upgraded – meaning they lose out on more reliable, resilient connections that would allow them to work from home, access every entertainment platform, and manage smart home devices at the same time without so much as a second thought.

“At Openreach, we are committed to playing our part in upgrading the country to better broadband. One of the ways in which we do so is by offering long-term price reductions for our wholesale fibre products, which we hope will encourage providers to upgrade their customers onto the faster, more dependable services we’ve built. We encourage customers to get in touch with their providers today and discover what might be on offer in their area.”

Boost your speeds

However, the good news is that in some cases those struggling with slow download speeds may be able to give their service a boost.

Ms Warner adds: “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.

“For households struggling on sluggish internet connections, it’s worth having a look at a coverage map to give you, at a glance, an overview of the sort of services that are available at your address.

"If your current broadband doesn’t stack up to what other providers can give you, it might be worth thinking about switching. Just make sure you are outside your initial contract period as you may be stung with a hefty termination fee if not.

"However, if your speeds are significantly slower than what you were promised when you signed up, you could even be eligible to leave for free.” 

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I can assure you that

I can assure you that Ballygowan rd in Northern Ireland is even slower, the service in rural areas is practically none existant, slower than a snail.