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Good Broadband Helps Winchester to Win UK Quality of Life Survey

Monday, December 19th, 2016 (10:42 am) - Score 372

The Bank of Scotland’s (Halifax, Lloyds) annual Quality of Life Survey, which examines a combination of broadband speed, health, crime rate, weather, employment, happiness and skills etc. to determine the best places in the UK to live, has ranked Winchester and the Orkney Islands top.

At this point it should be clear that broadband is only one of many factors involved in the survey and in that respect its influence on the overall ranking is limited. On top of that the survey only defines good broadband by the “proportion of premises able to receive 5Mbps (Megabits per second)” or faster (Ofcom data), which is at least an improvement on the 2Mbps gauge that they’ve used in previous years.

However we’re surprised that they still haven’t adopted the 24Mbps+ or 30Mbps+ definition for “superfast broadband“, which might have been more useful. Never the less we note that West Dunbartonshire and Dundee are said to fair best for Internet access in Scotland (both 99% for 5Mbps+ availability), closely followed by Glasgow and Edinburgh (98%) and Falkirk and North Lanarkshire (97%).

Top 10 UK Local Authority Districts (Quality of Life)

Local Authority Region Rank
Winchester South East 1
Orkney Islands Scotland 2
Wychavon West Midlands 3
Derbyshire Dales East Midlands 4
Hambleton Yorkshire and The Humber 5
South Cambridgeshire East of England 6
Purbeck South West 7
St Albans East of England 8
Wokingham South East 9
Chiltern South East 10

It’s worth noting that the coverage of “superfast broadband” in some of the top regions is still far from perfect, particularly in the remote Orkney and Shetland Islands (even Winchester is still a fair bit off the 90% coverage mark). The situation is of course improving, but take this table with a pinch of salt as other factors play a bigger roll.

The Top 10 Reasons Why Orkney Won:
• Crime rates are the lowest in the UK, with a burglary rate of just 2.3 per 10,000 people, compared to a Scottish average of 27.2 and 28.7 for the rest of the UK.

• School children there benefit from the UK’s largest spending per pupil for primary and secondary children – £9,281 per pupil compared to Scotland’s average of £5,846.90 and £4,626 for the UK.

• People living in Orkney have the lowest levels of anxiety rating in the UK (1.9 out of ten) and along with those living in the Western Isles, they are most satisfied with life (8.2 out of ten). The overwhelming majority of adults (96.6%) report being in good or fairly good health compared to a national average of 94.6%. It’s no surprise then that Orkney also ranks highly when it comes to happiness.

• The employment rate, at 87.6%, is significantly higher than the national average (73.7%).

• Low population density with 22 residents per square kilometre compared to the Scottish average of 483.3 and national average of 268.

• Low amount of traffic on the roads, with just 142 cars per square kilometre, compared to the UK average of 9,408.

• In their leisure time they have a large number of pubs – 20 per 10,000 adults.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Patruck Cosgrove says:

    Speaking as someone who was born and brought up there, and occasionally goes back, Winchester is a strange choice – unless you’re very well off. House prices are exhorbitant, and population, housing and and traffic densities overwhelming. Third choice, Wychavon, seems far more sensible, having lived there as well.

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