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UK's Best Broadband Cities Revealed

Posted: 02nd Aug, 2006 By: MarkJ
Research group Point-Topic has revealed the most broadband connected cities in Britain, with Swindon coming top thanks to a 51.1% penetration of households:

Swindon comes top in terms of the share of homes which already have broadband - over 50%. The City is top in terms of the number of broadband lines per person, with almost 1.4 DSL or cable modem connections for everybody living in the Square Mile.

Local Authority - Households with broadband

Swindon - 51.1%
Wokingham - 49.3%
Wycombe - 48.7%
Milton Keynes - 48.5%
Watford - 48.4%
Stevenage - 48.0%
Bracknell Forest - 47.9%
Aylesbury Vale - 47.5%
West Wiltshire - 47.2%
Surrey Heath - 47.1%

Swindon comes top in household take-up because it is just like many other such towns on the South of England, only more so. The whole region has a high level of broadband take-up and Swindon shares in that. Swindon has a relatively high proportion of young families with children, which lead in broadband take-up. Most important of all, Swindon is well covered by the ntl:Telewest cable network as well as by BT’s DSL. Total broadband take-up is much higher where the two networks are competing.

Many other prosperous towns in the south of England also have exceptionally high household take-up. Wokingham, High Wycombe. Milton Keynes, Watford and Stevenage all have 48% or more of households with broadband.

At the other end of the scale, there are over 50 Local Authority districts where fewer than one in four homes have broadband. Most of them are in the more rural areas, particularly in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but they include some urban centres such as Dundee, Carlisle and Merthyr Tydfil. They suffer from the opposite factors to Swindon, such the lack of availability of a cable choice in Carlisel and Merthyr Tydfil.

The City is top in lines per person simply because of the huge concentration of businesses in the area compared with the small resident population. Most shops, offices and other workplaces have broadband today and in the City they account for 85% of all broadband lines. Other Central London boroughs - Westminster, Camden, Kensington and so on - are among those with the highest broadband densities in the country because they are also home to a large number of businesses.

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