Sunday, March 31, 2013

UK - City centres are no guarantee of higher broadband speeds, deprived areas have slower speeds

The Guardian reports that city centres do not get the fastest broadband:
Research based on 900,000 speed tests over a three-month period by price comparison firm uswitch shows the slowest area in London has a postcode which covers the Barbican, a short walk from the City.

The average download rate in EC2Y is 5 megabits per second, well below the 12Mbps national average. The highest speeds in the capital are to be found in the suburb of Charlton in Greenwich. Here, residents enjoy connections that are 76% faster, with a 22Mbps average.

The greatest disparity is to be found in Birmingham, the UK's second city. In the areas of Perry Barr, Great Barr and Hamstead, residents have an impressive 21Mbps, but in the B35 area, which covers the economically deprived Castle Vale district, average speeds are 89% slower at just over 2Mbps.

In Easterhouse, which has a history of long-term unemployment and some of the worst life expectancy statistics in Scotland, average speeds are the slowest of any Glasgow area at just under 3Mbps. This is 85% less than the near 21Mbps residents of the G22 postcode area receive.

It looks as if BT is investing in fibre in areas where it thinks it will be able to get higher returns.

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