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Top UK Areas for Remote Working by Broadband Speed and Cost

Saturday, April 18th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 7,145
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A new study from Estate Agent comparison firm GetAgent claims to have identified some of the best and worst UK locations for working from home (WFH), which has become vitally important during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis. Overall Wandsworth in London came top, while the worst location was the Shetland Islands.

The research itself appears to have reached its conclusions by only examining two key factors, broadband speed (using Q4 2019 data from Thinkbroadband’s broadband coverage and speeds for UK local authorities and regions report) and the average monthly broadband cost per Megabit of speed (using data from Numbeo).

The big caveat here is that they appear to be using TBB’s average (mean) broadband speeds, which stem from web-best testing of actual connections (likely to suffer due to all sorts of issues, such as consumer package choice, slow WiFi and local network congestion etc.). We think they would have done better to score by the number of rival networks, their capabilities and respective coverage in each area.

Likewise there’s no consideration for other aspects that might be relevant when choosing the best location for remote working, such as the cost of living, mobile connectivity and property prices etc. One other issue here is that they only seem to consider download performance, while uploads (important for work / video conferencing etc.) are given no consideration at all.

Colby Short, Founder and CEO of GetAgent, said:

“What we’re seeing right now is pretty unprecedented and while the modern age has seen us lean more towards flexible and fluid working solutions to suit an evolving workplace, I don’t think we’ve ever seen the nation as a whole be largely run from the comfort of our front rooms.

While we are a property company primarily, like almost every other business across the UK broadband is a vital commodity that allows us to function day to day and has enabled us to make the necessary adjustments to carry on as normal operationally, albeit remotely.”

As usual, take the following results with a pinch of salt. Lest we forget that right now, even if you wanted to move to a “better” area, you probably couldn’t (unless the move is already in-progress) and it’s also just about the worst possible time to consider doing so.

Rankings – by best speed
Location Average download speed (Mbps) Average monthly cost per Mbps
Wandsworth 95.1 £0.33
Southwark 92.0 £0.34
Kingston upon Hull 73.4 £0.43
Westminster 72.5 £0.43
Harlow 72.5 £0.43
Rushmoor 63.7 £0.49
Tower Hamlets 61.3 £0.51
Kingston upon Thames 58.1 £0.54
City of London 57.8 £0.54
York 56.9 £0.55
Richmond upon Thames 56.8 £0.55
Salford 56.8 £0.55
Luton 56.1 £0.56
Waltham Forest 56.0 £0.56
Reading 55.8 £0.56
Rankings – by worst speed
Location Average download speed (Mbps) Average monthly cost per Mbps
Shetland Islands 21.0 £1.49
Argyll and Bute 22.0 £1.42
Mid Devon 22.1 £1.42
Orkney Islands 22.2 £1.41
West Devon 23.1 £1.35
Rother 23.5 £1.33
Dumfries and Galloway 23.6 £1.33
Denbighshire 23.7 £1.32
Fermanagh and Omagh 23.9 £1.31
Highland 24.1 £1.30
North Devon 24.3 £1.29
Moray 24.5 £1.28
Mourne and Down 24.5 £1.28
Eden 24.9 £1.26
Tendring 25.0 £1.25
Primary level – nations
Location Average download speed (Mbps) Average monthly cost per Mbps
England 40.1 £0.82
Scotland 34.8 £0.96
Northern Ireland 33.8 £0.97
Wales 32.6 £0.99
United Kingdom 35.3 £0.94
Secondary level – English regions
Location Average download speed (Mbps) Average monthly cost per Mbps
London 52.38 £0.62
North East 41.41 £0.78
East of England 39.66 £0.84
North West 39.52 £0.82
West Midlands 39.29 £0.83
South East 39.17 £0.83
East Midlands 38.47 £0.85
Yorkshire and the Humber 37.78 £0.89
South West 35.45 £0.93

Leave a Comment
19 Responses
  1. Optimist says:

    These report doesn’t seem to be worth the space on the fileserver. I live outside any of the areas listed yet I get over 100Mbps download with VM.

    1. Ryan says:

      It says average download speeds in your area you might get 100Mbps+ on VM, but not everyone will been on VM they will be others using slower ADSL/VDSL that pulls the average speed down.

  2. Pezza says:

    Not surprising London is top… where the most voters are right so they get all the funding? Government regularly seems to fail to live outside its Landon bubble.
    My IDNET up to 80MBPS has been fine here in North Dorset, wouldn’t mind some more speed though but alas that’ll never happen without moving…

    1. Pezza says:

      Excuse the stupid typo the phone made, I meant government seem to fail to look outside it’s London bubble.

    2. joe says:

      Actually a lot of London has been terrible until very recently. Far from more money spent there its been disproportionately commercial.

    3. CarlT says:

      BDUK simply didn’t exist in London. It was commercial deployment so nothing to do with winning votes.


    4. CarlT says:

      Let me help you with the reality.

      The taxpayer hasn’t spent enough to subsidise North Dorset to the level where it receives the same services as major urban areas and, indeed, is prioritised over those areas for delivery of ultrafast.

      Therefore you’re upset, and appear to have a massive sense of entitlement to other people’s money.

      Hope that helps.

    5. A_Builder says:

      Wandsworth has a lot of MDUs that Community Fibre and Hyperoptic have covered pretty thoroughly.

      Beyond that VM coverage is pretty good.

      Apart from EO lines VDSL is ubiquitous

      GFAST is widespread – not much OR domestic fibre in the borough.

      So I’m not too surprised.

      And yes the VM, CF & Hyper were all fully commercial builds.

    6. Matt says:

      Hey Pezza, votes or gov don’t seem to be of the matter, I’m in Birmingham, urban area, now unless it was for Virgin Media and there fully commercial investment I would be on ADSL 1-3mbps…. thanks to Virgin I’m currently on a Gigabit service, and due to commercial competition Openreach has now had to pull their finger out and are now slowly rolling out FTTP services.

      Would give it up for a nicer view out the window however.

  3. joe says:

    Tower Hamlets -v- Devon. Hmmm Not sure higher bb speeds is tempting me on that choice!

    1. MikeP says:


      And I’m WFH in East Devon on ADSL2 with 3Mbps download just fine. OK, I have to be careful how I do things.

      If you’ve got decent infrastructure for remote working, you don’t need superfast. Leisure activities, OTOH…

  4. Meadmodj says:

    Nothing new here we know where the issues are.

    As for working from home the bandwidth needed for normal office type work isn’t that onerous even if there is more than one sharing the BB. Yes there are some with demanding data requirements and there are those unfortunately still on inadequate basic provision but for most of the country any current lack of higher capacity will be mostly down to consumer choice.

    What would therefore be more interesting if enquiries/orders to the ISPs for higher products will/are rising as this will drive the ROI for investment and balance out the effects of recession.

    1. A_Builder says:

      What will be interesting is now that companies realise they don’t need their expensive offices, everyone working from home things still function OK, instead they pay people to set up home offices including mid spec 200/200 FTTP where available.

      Yes, it will be interesting and may well be what starts a mass push from VDSL -> FTTP – if you are lucky enough to have it.

    2. Philip Cheeseman says:

      That’s very true. Even on my 20mbps connection my wife and I can work from home and kids can stream Disney+ (thankfully only rarely do all 3 happen at the same time but it works!). Still id love a faster connection!

  5. Herve Shango says:

    I’m on VM and get 200mbps dl/ 20mbps up fibre (yes i’m from London, you can hate us much you want but the money is there and obviously business has invested a lot in London internet infrastructure to meet demands of recent). they’re also spreading their wings across the UK as well. the Demand in other regions within our countr need to meet demands for ISPs to have the incentives to invest, through that consumers of those ISPs need to invest in them, LGAs also need to put in work in allowing ISPs to lay out new fibre infrastructure a lot faster to meet demand’s. Because this will not be the last time where the population will be working from home. It’ll become part and parcel of work life.

    1. Ash says:

      According to the article city of London are mid table, which completely rules out your comments re “I get it because thats where all the money is” Yo, I get 400 mbps In kingston Upon Hull. FTTP is the standard … KCOM (The local ISP) offer a guaranteed 1Gb package too, with 0 fair use. We’re smashing the city of London! (Speed wise)

    2. Meadmodj says:

      @Herve Shango. “It’ll become part and parcel of work life”
      I have been using remote techniques since 24k modems, became a part homeworker on IDSN and a full homeworker on ADSL fully supported by my employer over the years. However by 2012 a new generation of management started to frown upon home working (or remote offices for that matter). Instead they wanted us most of the week in “Key Hubs” or central offices regardless of the travelling time caused or work needs (like working with colleagues in US in the evening and Asia at night). Having said that I have always regarded home working as a privilege and that you should still be within reasonable distance of the office when required.

      My view is that home working is not a technical issue it is more about the maturity and quality of management. This COVID-19 experience may enlighten more people of the possibilities but it may be hard to convince some.

  6. damian says:

    Upload speed is critical. Wish VM was forced to cable all the area they have a licence to operate in… rather then moaning about competition. Same goes for sky and talktalk stop moaning about competition and invest.

    Last BT router update has improved my download speed by 9Mbps and upload by almost 2Mbps. The upload improvement is noticeably.

  7. James Burgess says:

    I moved to central Gloucester 3 months ago and am appalled by the 5mbps connection from EE

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