Banking giant Santander has released its annual ranking of the top 74 UK towns and cities by the competitiveness of their respective business environments. One of the key categories is Connectivity, which revealed that Edinburgh (Scotland) is one of the best places for broadband speed and uptake. Meanwhile Milton Keynes is one of the worst.
The cities were each scored alongside five “domains” (categories) including Enterprise, Talent, Connectivity, Costs and Well-being (explained below). Overall Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh came top of the table. In fact even the once digitally isolated town of Milton Keynes, which came bottom for Connectivity, still managed to place a respectable 19th due to its other attributes.
It should be said that broadband uptake and average service speeds in Milton Keynes, which form the bulk of Santander’s connectivity assessment (largely based on Ofcom’s 2012 data), are set to improve over the next few years as BT deploys FTTC and FTTP from its Bradwell Abbey exchange to 20,000 homes and businesses (more than half can already get it) but at present they’re still trailing at the bottom (i.e. many locals are still using slower connections).
The Five Domains
Enterprise – This uses nine measures to assess business vitality and sustainability in the town and city.
Talent – This uses three measures to help identify if there are suitably qualified people that businesses can draw upon from these communities.
Connectivity – This uses two measures of how well connected businesses are in terms of internet provision [the share of average broadband speeds and uptake].
Costs – This uses three measures of costs that employers and employees have to face to work in these communities.
Well-being – This uses three measures of the wider economic well-being of communities.
Being ISPreview.co.uk we like to focus more on the Connectivity side and have stripped out the other categories in order to produce a top 74 that only ranks based on this single consideration (get the original report here). The results order the “better connected” towns and cities towards the top and the “less well connected” towards the bottom.
The study noted that front runner Edinburgh delivers faster broadband speeds, on average, than most of their rivals and also demonstrated strong uptake with “high levels of good internet connectivity … [which] … make it easier for businesses to communicate effectively with their customer base“.
Note: London’s various boroughs are counted in a separate list.