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The Top 43 Fastest UK Universities for Broadband Speeds Ranked

Tuesday, Aug 16th, 2016 (12:02 am) - Score 7,759

Apparently Leicester University might only be ranked 47th for higher education, but they come top for broadband speeds – averaging a download rate of 39.87Mbps in student areas – in a new study of Internet performance conducted on 43 of the United Kingdom’s top 50 universities.

The uSwitch.com data is based on speed tests conducted between 19th September 2015 to 7th July 2016, which examined the top universities as ranked by the Guardian University Guide 2017. Apparently this used tests (isolated by postcode) from the university halls of residence, university campus and most popular streets for private student accommodation at each university.

The postcodes for the halls of residence and campus were sourced from the universities’ accommodation pages, and postcodes for private student accommodation were sourced from the universities’ private accommodation pages, student forums and message boards, as well as local student letting agent listings.

Overall this totalled 181,131 speed tests, across 107,460 unique IP addresses. In order for a university to qualify for inclusion there had to be at least 500 unique tests, hence why the final table is only 43 long instead of 50.

Sadly the study doesn’t appear to break its data down to show which students were connecting via any given University’s own private network, which should ideally be separated from those who have taken a broadband service via a third-party ISP. Similarly we’re also given no information about the underlying availability of different connectivity methods, which again limits the usefulness of this data.

Never the less it’s noted that students in London appear to suffer quite a bit, facing the combined hassle from both a higher cost of living and worse broadband speeds: Queen Mary, SOAS, Goldsmiths, Imperial and Kings are all in the bottom 15 of the broadband league table.

Average Download Speeds for 43 of the Top 50 UK Universities

University Average download speed 2015/16 (Mbps)
1 Leicester 39.87
2 Queens, Belfast 36.71
3 Nottingham 36.18
4 Surrey 35.84
5 Loughborough 34.92
6 Cambridge 34.61
7 Bristol 34.45
8 Sussex 33.57
9 Oxford 32.83
10 UEA 32.05
11 Dundee 31.74
12 Southampton 31.55
13 Keele 31.09
14 Kent 30.54
15 Portsmouth 30.3
16 Cardiff 29.98
17 LSE 29.88
18 Leeds 27.71
19 Durham 26.62
20 UCL 26.37
21 Aston 26.17
22 Derby 26
23 Royal Holloway 25.93
24 Coventry 25.79
25 Reading 24.51
26 Swansea 24.46
27 Newcastle 24.29
28 Warwick 24.15
29 Kings 23.79
30 Imperial 22.81
31 Birmingham 20.87
32 SOAS 20.86
33 Sheffield 20.83
34 Exeter 20.8
35 Goldsmiths 20.79
36 Edinburgh 20.62
37 Heriot Watt 20.47
38 Glasgow 19.84
39 Queen Mary 19.64
40 York 18.28
41 Lancaster 18.1
42 Bath 17.75
43 Aberdeen 15.27
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Mark-Jackson
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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