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Top 10 UK Fastest and Slowest Streets for Broadband in 2021

Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 2,400
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A new report has used data from 276,083 consumer speedtests to reveal the top 10 fastest and slowest streets for broadband ISP download speed in the UK. The slowest street was found to be Wistaston Road (Crewe) in Cheshire on just 0.24Mbps, while the fastest was Haul Fryn (Birchgrove) in Swansea on 882Mbps.

The Uswitch.com research is based on speed tests conducted over a 12-month period from 1st October 2020 to 30th September 2021. In order for a street to qualify for inclusion, tests from at least 3 unique Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and at least 10 residential properties were required at a postcode. But as usual with this sort of study, there are some big caveats.

NOTE: The study defines “Superfast” as download speeds faster than 30Mbps, and “Ultrafast” as quicker than 100Mbps.

The “good news“, claims the study, is that the number of broadband users enjoying faster speeds is growing, and it highlights how 43% now get speeds of more than 30Mbps – this is said to be “almost double” what it was six years ago (22%). But curiously they seem to forget that last year’s survey actually put this figure at 54% (here), thus 43% is actually a decline. Every other survey we’ve seen shows a clear increase, so this is a bit bizarre.

The research also notes that the number of speed tests conducted for the 2021 report is up 124% on 2019’s tally of 122,845, with the “dramatic rise suggesting that consumers have been paying closer attention to the performance of their home broadband since the start of the pandemic.” But this overlooks that last year’s (2020) report used data from 398,973 consumer speedtests, thus the figure appears to have significantly declined.

More Caveats and Context

One of the biggest problems with studies like this is that they can easily be taken at face value, which is a problem because consumer speedtests don’t correctly reflect the actual underlying availability of faster networks (i.e. superfast networks currently cover 96% of premises and ultrafast is nearly 70%, but many homes have yet to upgrade). However, uSwitch does point out that, of the ten slowest streets, nine actually have access to a quicker service.

Clearly, consumer awareness and adoption of faster packages remains a key issue. In other cases, consumers may be aware that a faster service exists, but they have simply chosen not to upgrade due to various issues, such as the potentially higher price, being stuck in a long 18-24 month contract term or a simple lack of need / desire for anything faster.

Speedtests like this can of course also be influenced by other factors too, such as poor home wiring, the user’s choice of package (e.g. 1Gbps could be available, but people may pick a slower tier to save money), local (home) network congestion and slow WiFi performance etc. In short, take these results with a big pinch of salt.

The Top 10 Slowest UK Streets for Broadband

Rank Street name Average download speed (Mbps) Superfast broadband available? Ultrafast broadband available?
1 Wistaston Road, Crewe 0.25 Yes No
2 Grant Road, Banchory 0.28 Yes No
3 Dutchells Copse, Horsham 0.29 Yes Yes
4 Cornwall Avenue, Tyldesley, Manchester 0.31 No Yes
5 Crossways South, Doncaster 0.33 Yes Yes
6 Llys Tripp, Gwaelod-y-Garth, Cardiff 0.34 Yes No
7 Seymour Avenue, Morden 0.36 Yes Yes
8 South Park Crescent, Lewisham 0.38 Yes Yes
9 Brant Road, Waddington, Lincoln 0.39 No Yes
10 Berriedale 0.40 No No

One oddity in the way Uswitch has done this is that they’ve put ‘Yes’ under “ultrafast broadband” availability for several streets, but at the same time they’ve left “superfast broadband” as ‘No’ on a few of those same streets, which doesn’t make much sense to us (ultrafast connections are faster than superfast, thus if ultrafast is a ‘Yes’ then it follows that superfast should also be ‘Yes’).

The Top 10 Fastest UK Streets for Broadband

Rank Street name Average download speed (Mbps)
1 Haul Fryn, Birchgrove, Swansea 882.03
2 Grange Road, Ilford 877.48
3 Dalesgate Close, Littleover, Derby 855.55
4 West Gate, Fleetwood 841.85
5 Douglas Bader Drive, Lutterworth 758.87
6 Billingbauk Drive, Leeds 749.41
7 Old Ballynahinch Road, Lisburn 707.54
8 Hall Road East, Liverpool 707.30
9 Valley Road, Newbury 699.92
10 Dale Lane, Appleton, Warrington 699.76

We should add that business class high-capacity leased lines might be impacting some of the above the results, and it’s similarly unclear whether 4G or 5G mobile connections were included or not. Lest we forget that the slowest streets will actually be those precious few locations that still struggle to get a working internet connection at all or have too few results, which won’t show up above.

In the near future, this picture may also become further complicated once the new generation of LEO based satellite broadband services become more widely available or affordable. At present, Starlink’s (SpaceX) service is a bit too expensive to be considered a mass market solution, and we don’t yet know what kind of products BT or Eutelsat will launch for consumers via OneWeb’s platform.

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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.
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10 Responses
  1. Peter Parker says:

    “One oddity in the way Uswitch has done this is that they’ve put ‘Yes’ under “ultrafast broadband” availability for several streets, but at the same time they’re left “superfast broadband” as ‘No’..”
    My 9 year old property is in this situation. We have no FTTC. Earlier this year FTTP was provisioned.
    Huge sigh of relief from numerous neighbours who can work from home and stream.

    1. Connor says:

      Yeah the naming is consistent with Ofcom’s broadband checker where FTTC connections are superfast and FTTP/DOCSIS are ultrafast.

      There’s an estate similar to what you describe by me where they don’t have FTTC but they have FTTP so it shows them as having no superfast but having ultrafast.

    2. GaryH says:

      Yup, superfast ultrafast titling can be abused in editorial pieces and issued statements, add in the ‘weasel words’ and the truth can be as elusive as a good connection.

  2. Philip says:

    If our area of West Bergholt, Essex is typical:

    + “No Superfast” are areas without an Openreach FTTC VDSL service

    + “Yes UltraFast” are areas with an FTTP from Virgin Media

    1. Fastman says:

      phillip there is no FTTC in West Bergholt or any superfast essex coverager as the area was excluded from BDUK actviy since 2013 as area all claimed as having superfast not by openreach or virgin (according to the original Open market Review so no in BDUK contract 1 or contract 2 – only Openreach is FTTP (where part of community wanted to work with openreach. Rest of village did not .

  3. Sussex Fibre says:

    Strange, Dutchells Copse in Horsham has F&W, Openreach and Box FTTP available yet is in the slowest streets. It has also had FTTC available for many years! Must be some dodgy home wiring!

    1. DaveG says:

      Makes you wonder how large the sample size is for these figures and how up to date they are.

    2. Just a thought says:

      @DaveG looks like a reasonably significant measure – “In order for a street to qualify for inclusion, tests from at least 3 unique Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and at least 10 residential properties were required at a postcode.”

  4. Owen Rudge says:

    Huh, Grant Road, Banchory is just around the corner, and they are closer to the cabinet than I am (and I get 45-50Mbps). Suggested VDSL range 41.1 – 64.6Mbps, or 7.5-17.5Mbps ADSL2+. I’d be taking these survey results with a very large pinch of salt indeed!

  5. anonymous says:

    Wistaston Road has the postcodes of CW2 7RQ, CW2 7RL, CW2 7RJ, CW2 7RH, CW2 7RE, CW2 7RB, CW2 7RA and CW2 7RP.

    There’s a G.fast enabled cabinet close enough to provide >300 to some of the street.

    This ‘data’ is worthless.

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