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The Top 20 UK Cities for Broadband and 4G Mobile Connectivity

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 (12:32 pm) - Score 1,150
City of london square mile united kingdom

A new study has ranked the top 20 cities across the United Kingdom by comparing their fixed line broadband coverage, performance and 4G mobile network availability in order to produce an index score. Overall London came out as being the UK’s “best digitally connected city,” albeit mainly thanks to its mobile coverage.

The research appears to have been put together by conference call provider PowWowNow, most likely as part of a marketing exercise. The information is broadly all based off data that has been supplied to the public by Ofcom’s recent Connected Nations report (here), albeit after having been independently pieced together, weighted, scored and then ranked.

Curiously the results seem to ignore factors such as fixed line “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) or 10Mbps USO availability, instead preferring to focus upon only “full fibre” (FTTP) coverage and the % of premises unable to receive a speed of 2Mbps. The “mean” speeds listed also fail to clarify whether they reflect an average of the available networks (e.g. advertised or sync speed) or were based upon consumer speedtests (take-up).

Meanwhile, on mobile they only look at indoor 4G coverage across all operators and not outdoor or geographic, although indoor is arguably more relevant to city dwellers. Take all this with the usual pinch of salt, although some of the results are still quite useful (even if we don’t get the full detail on their methodology for the scoring).

The 20 Top UK Cities by Digital Connectivity

City Index Score Mean Download speed (Mbps) Mean upload speed (Mbps) Full Fibre cover (% premises) % unable to get 2Mbps 4G cover (indoor, all operators)
London 8.5 52.5 6.5 11.4 0 94.1
Bristol 8.4 66.6 5.8 6.9 0 90.9
Cardiff 8.4 61 6.9 6.8 0 83.7
Coventry 8.3 52 6 16.4 0 77.5
Nottingham 8.2 66 5.9 4.8 0 86.9
Southampton 8.1 56.3 6.1 6.2 0 88.9
Liverpool 8 56.6 5.7 3.8 0 91.7
Leicester 7.9 61.4 5.6 3.2 0 86.9
Glasgow City 7.9 46.8 6.1 6.5 0 89.8
Birmingham 7.9 59 5.5 3.1 0 90
Edinburgh 7.9 63.1 5.9 4.7 0.1 89.6
Newcastle 7.7 49.8 6 6.9 0.1 90.6
Leeds 7.7 52.4 5.9 7.8 0.1 85.2
Dudley 7.7 60.2 5.8 0.1 0 81.3
Manchester 7.6 45.8 6 6.5 0.1 92.8
Wigan 7.6 61.6 6.2 0.4 0 68
Bradford 7.3 51.2 5.5 1.8 0.1 85.4
Fife 7.2 43.4 6.3 8.1 0.2 77.7
Sheffield 7.2 43 5.9 1.5 0.1 86.8
Cornwall 6.2 27.6 5.3 31 0.6 59.9

Otherwise it’s separately noted that Southwark is London’s best borough for connectivity, which is largely due to having 45.5% coverage by full fibre networks and strong 4G availability of 99%. Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the scale, we have Bromley that does poorly across the board.

Similarly the central ‘City of London’ area, which has long been known to suffer from a lot of Exchange Only Lines (EOL), is ranked near the bottom due to having the slowest average speeds of 17.1Mbps (this is despite 25% being within reach of a full fibre network and 100% 4G coverage). See the rest of the results here.

NOTE: We aren’t sure why Fife and Cornwall (counties) are in a table of cities, but hay ho..

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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2 Responses
  1. Avatar AnotherTim

    I’m not sure about their definition of “City” including the towns of Wigan and Dudley, and the counties of Cornwall and Fife.

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