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Study of the 30 Biggest UK Post Towns Shows Big Broadband Speed Divide

Thursday, Mar 28th, 2013 (12:24 am) - Score 5,319

A new study from uSwitch, which is based on data from 900,000 anecdotal internet speed tests (conducted between December 1st 2012 and February 28th 2013), has revealed a huge difference of up to 89% in broadband ISP speeds between postcode districts within each of the 30 biggest UK “post” towns.

The research, when taken purely at face value, claims that in Birmingham there is a “staggering” 89% difference in average internet download speeds between the slowest and fastest postcode districts.

For example, the fastest postcode district (B42) in Birmingham received an average speed of 20.9Mbps (Megabits) and the slowest (B35) had just 2.2Mbps. It’s a similar story in many other areas too.


As usual with such studies it’s important not to read too much into the data. Service speeds can fluctuate for all sorts of reasons, not least if the bulk of tests were conducted at peak (busy) periods instead of off-peak (daytime) ones (sadly uSwitch doesn’t specify but they did recently conduct a related study).

Similarly many of the “slowest” postcode districts do still have access to a superfast broadband (24Mbps+) service but not all consumers will either be aware of this or willing to pay the extra in order to upgrade. Many superfast packages typically attract a monthly premium of around £10 extra and can also come with a higher install charge.

Likewise faster speeds may often be available over even slower ADSL/ADSL2+ technology but the connectivity to individual premises could suffer due to poor home wiring and other factors (e.g. slow wifi networks) that would not be clear through such testing. Suffice to say.. take with a big pinch of salt.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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