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RSC Map Shows Best and Worst 20 UK Areas for Broadband Speed

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 (10:04 am) - Score 2,486

RS Components have used data from Ofcom’s Connected Nations report to create a new interactive map, which reveals the top 20 UK locations for average fixed line broadband ISP download speeds. Apparently the Cotswolds comes out on top with a speed of 95Mbps, while the City of London is named the slowest on 17.1Mbps.

At this point we note a rather obvious flaw in RSC’s results because surely the slowest locations in the UK would be those that continue to suffer from sub-2Mbps speeds (usually remote rural areas and some disadvantaged urban locations), which is usually due to the presence of long copper ADSL lines as the only means of fixed line connectivity (around 0.5% of premises may be in this boat).

Admittedly connectivity in the central City of London area is notoriously poor but it does have some coverage from alternative full fibre networks (e.g. Hyperoptic) and Virgin Media’s cable service, while Openreach has a bit of FTTC in the area too. Overall roughly half of this area can access “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) speeds and that’s more than some other locations, albeit still extremely weak.

Meanwhile the fastest locations would be those with a high availability of Virgin Media’s cable, Openreach’s G.fast or general full fibre (FTTH/P) connectivity, such as places like Hull and East Riding (East Yorkshire) where KCOM’s FTTP network is at almost universal availability. On this front the Cotswolds does have a fair bit of FTTP from Gigaclear, Openreach and others (plus a lot of slower FTTC) but its nowhere near to the same extent as Hull, yet Hull comes second below.

Perhaps one reason for the odd results is that Ofcom tends to use a mix of different speed data in their reports, which can be based around available advertised rates, “sync” speeds or general estimates of line performance. Sadly RS Components has not clarified precisely what type of data they’ve used from the regulator or their methodology. Similarly they haven’t balanced it by showing the network availability of faster services in each location.

The above issues mean we’re not quite sure how to reference these results, so take them with the usual pinch of salt. You can check out their interactive map online and we’ve pasted the top 20 results below.

Top 10 fastest broadband speed locations around the UK


Top 10 slowest broadband speed locations around the UK


Leave a Comment
17 Responses
  1. Avatar TheFacts

    Completely pointless?

  2. Avatar AnotherTim

    No surprise to see the Forest of Dean among the slowest areas. That isn’t going to change for a few years yet.

    • Avatar Brian Heslop

      Dumfries and Galloway also slow, but all the 27.1 average shows is that due to the choice of FTTC within two miles you can go from 80/20 to 4.5/0.4.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      The FoD figures are helped by some FTTP – however, overall 14% of lines are sub-USO so they have done well to get the average (esp. upload) as high as they report.

    • Avatar John

      Could not agree more. Fastershire are failing here, now been waiting and waiting and waiting. Should have started yet again in Q1 but guess what…

  3. Avatar Malcolm Beaton

    Hmmm Ofcom’s broadband availability checker shows that I can get 12mb download where in reality the highest speed is around 5.5mb / 6mb – hope they don’t use that when the USO comes in next year…

    • Avatar Mike

      You might be on an aluminium (impacted) line.

    • Avatar Malcolm Beaton

      I am on EO line in London SE16 – not sure if it is copper or impacted aluminium – no one in the area can get over 6mb apart from the very few properties that got Hyperoptic as part of the Greenland Dock project which is currently on hold with no current plans – the Ofcom checker seems to correctly report the very few houses that can get Hyperoptic but all the other properties show they can get 12mb which is not correct

  4. Avatar Bob Ni

    Where’s Northern Ireland? Last time i checked it was still part of the UK.

    • Avatar BuckleZ

      Wondering the same, we seem to get left out of a lot of ‘UK’ stat posts on here.

      This isn’t the UK, it’s Great Britain (which doesnt incl NI) but you’ll find N.Ireland is in the UK

    • Avatar Providence

      I wonder if this is an error on RSC’s part when compiling the data or an error on Ofcom’s part ie Northern Ireland was not part of the Connected Nations report. I do not have access to the report (currently in work) and therefore cannot verify the report data.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      Ofcom definitely does cover Northern Ireland in its Connected Nations report

      Also should be in the data set this analysis is based on.

      Looking at figures suspect it is based on reported connection speed from the data providers supply and they are using a mean figure for the average.

    • Avatar Providence

      Just had a quick look at the map. At the bottom is a link to Data. Within this PDF is information about NI – it certainly includes Belfast, Lisburn and Castlereagh, Antrim and Newtownabbey (to name only three).

      It’s a small print table on pages 3 and 4. Best to select it, copy and paste into Excel and some quick filtering to see codes in the first column beginning with N (laua).

      Certainly the data is included (not only on Ofcom’s report, but also linked from RSC website), therefore I can only deduce that this is an error on RSC part.

      I leave it to the reader to decide if this was accidental, an oversight, a design decision or otherwise!

  5. Avatar New_Londoner

    Another consideration for areas like the City of London with a pretty high percentage of buildings occupied by large businesses is that they have no use for broadband anyway, relying instead on Ethernet for their connectivity. Any business using uncontended 10Gbps links with guaranteed end-to-end performance and backed by SLAs is not going to downgrade to broadband anytime soon.

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