Believe it or not, one Middlesbrough street has one of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK. Research from uSwitch.com showed some of the slowest speeds in the country are found in mainly rural locations. But in an analysis of over one million ‘real world’ speed tests ran by the price comparison and switching service, a Middlesbrough residential street came out very close to the top.
Bonny Grove, near Eagle Park in Marton, Middlesbrough, boasted 151.057MBps in one of those tests. It was an incredible 222 times faster than the slowest recorded speed in the country, the 0.68Mbps found at Thorpe Lane in Trimley St Martin, Suffolk. On Thorpe Lane it would take over 21 hours to download a two-hour HD film on Netflix and nearly eight hours to download a 45-minute HD TV show.
By contrast, on Bonny Grove, it would take little more than five minutes to download a two-hour HD film and two minutes to download a 45-minute HD TV show.
Bonny Grove in Middlesbrough is the sixth fastest broadband speed in the country (Image: Handout)
According to the research one in five (20.6%) broadband users struggle along with speeds of less than 10Mbps – while nearly one in ten (8.6%) crawl along at less than 5Mbps. However, the number of broadband users enjoying faster speeds is growing. Nearly four in ten (36.7%) now get average speeds of 30+Mbps, which is up from 22% two years ago.
But despite the fact that fibre broadband should be available to 95% of UK households by the end of 2017, a recent uSwitch survey found that only 57% of Brits believe they can access it in their local area. Broadband users living in and around the UK’s largest cities are the most likely to find themselves with superfast speeds. Four of the UK’s fastest broadband streets can be found in the capital, while Glasgow contains two of the UK’s quickest streets and another is located in the Greater Manchester area.
Additionally, the Scottish town of Motherwell contains two of the fastest streets in the UK for broadband speeds.
Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, said: “It is astonishing to think that you could fly to Sydney in Australia in the time it takes to download a film on the UK’s slowest street. “Whilst Ofcom has proposed having providers give more information on what speeds consumers should expect, unless this information is presented transparently, in a way that enables broadband users to compare the available options side-by-side, these changes won’t be truly effective. “What consumers want to know is what they are getting now and how that compares to services they could access.
Only then will consumers be fully empowered to make an informed decision about which service is right for their needs.”
If slow broadband is the bane of your life, next time you find yourself stuck in front of the wheel of doom, spare a thought for residents in one Suffolk town – where locals have to wait 21 hours, just to download a film. That’s the same amount of time it takes to fly from London to Australia – and the reality for those who live in Thorpe Lane, Trimley St Martin in Suffolk. On Thorpe Lane it would take almost two days to download a two-hour HD film on Netflix and nearly eight hours to download a 45-minute HD TV show.
But by contrast to the street’s 0.68 megabits per second (mps) offering, locals in Benford Avenue, in North Lanarkshire hold the prize for the fastest internet – at 177mps – that’s a 109 second wait for the same show to download.
The UK’s worst street for broadband is…
slower than the fastest street
Source: uSwitch According to the research by uSwitch, which is based on one million ‘real world’ speed tests run by broadband users, one in five households struggle to get online with speeds of less than 10Mbps – one in ten crawl along at less than 5Mbps. The consumer website is now calling on providers to make property specific broadband speeds available more widely so that consumers can see exactly what services and what speeds are available at their home
14 slowest streets for broadband in the UK
It comes after regulator, Ofcom, introduced new automatic compensation for households who fall victim to unfair practices . Under the rules, if you experience problems with your broadband – from missed appointments to gaps in service – you are entitled to compensation.
But while the crackdown to faster speeds continues, surprisingly, the number of broadband users enjoying speedier broadband is growing. Nearly four in ten homes now get average speeds of 30+Mbps, which is up from 22% two years ago.
Luck of the draw?
Glasgow residents currently enjoy some of the fastest speeds (Image: Getty)
Broadband users living in and around the UK’s largest cities are the most likely to find themselves with superfast speeds. Four of the UK’s fastest broadband streets can be found in the capital, while Glasgow contains two of the UK’s quickest streets and another is located in the Greater Manchester area. Additionally, the Scottish town of Motherwell contains two of the fastest streets in the UK for broadband speeds.
More consumer rights explained
A postcode lottery?
When it comes to broadband speeds, uSwitch says it’s still very much a ‘postcode lottery’.
Two of the slowest and two of the fastest streets can be found in Essex. Red Willow in Harlow, for example, is less than a 40 minute drive from Noak Hill Road in Billericay, but boasts broadband speeds that are 143 times faster.
14 fastest streets for broadband in the UK
Source: uSwitch Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, said: “It is astonishing to think that you could fly to Sydney in Australia in the time it takes to download a film on the UK’s slowest street.
“Whilst Ofcom has proposed having providers give more information on what speeds consumers should expect , unless this information is presented transparently, in a way that enables broadband users to compare the available options side-by-side, these changes won’t be truly effective.
“What consumers want to know is what they are getting now and how that compares to services they could access. Only then will consumers be fully empowered to make an informed decision about which service is right for their needs. “Consumers that are not happy with their service and do not feel it delivers should let their provider know right away.
Reasons for such sluggish broadband speeds can vary and can include a user’s distance from the nearest exchange or difficulties with the property itself – thickness of walls, for example, can affect wireless connections. “While there are measures that your broadband provider can offer to improve your signal, such as moving your router to reduce interference from other electronics, physically connecting your devices to the router using an Ethernet cable and Wi-Fi boosters, it might be worth seeing if faster services are available in your area.”
Your broadband consumer rights
It you think your service is bad, the good news is you could be entitled to compensation. That’s because your broadband provider has a legal obligation to deliver what you pay for – and what you were sold.
These are your rights:
All goods and services must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, delivered as described, and provided to a proper standard of workmanship.
In other words, your broadband should work.
Both you and your broadband provider must comply with the terms on your contract.
If you consider your provider to be in breach of the contract – e.g. if you’re not being delivered consistent service – you have the right to cancel it.
The contract with your broadband provider must be fair.
You have the right to cancel your contract at any point – though in some circumstances you’ll need to pay a fee.
County has been chosen as one of six areas to test the service
West Yorkshire has been revealed as one of just six places chosen to test out the fastest and most reliable broadband. Fibre broadband is to be rolled out to businesses, schools and hospitals in a ?200m pilot scheme. The projects will get around ?10 million to test full fibre networks that run straight to the doors of customers’ homes or businesses and is said to offer speeds of 1 gigabyte.
Karen Rukin of Kirklees Council said: “This is great news and a small project team is being established who will work with government to deliver this scheme locally.
“There is still work to do to shape how the scheme will operate exactly in West Yorkshire.”
Kirklees councillor Andrew Cooper, (Greens, Newsome), said: “It’s good that more communities are getting a better broadband service. As local councillors we will be dropping letters informing the householders affected to make sure they don’t lose out.”
Full fibre broadband could potentially allow:
* hospitals to share HD quality graphics of medical scans in seconds to improve diagnosis speeds,
* businesses to reach ever more customers online, increasing transactions by uploading even the largest files quickly and easily
* school classrooms to see a vast increase the number of pupils who can stream educational videos at the same time
The scheme is also being tested in Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Warwickshire, Somerset and Greater Manchester. Minister of State for Digital, Matt Hancock MP, said: “We want to see more commercial investment in the gold standard connectivity that full fibre provides and these innovative pilots will help create the right environment for this to happen.
“To keep Britain as the digital world leader that it is we need to have the right infrastructure in place to allow us to keep up with the rapid advances in technology now and in the future.
The announcement is the first step as part of the government’s four-year plan to stimulate the market and encourage the growth of full fibre up and down the country.
The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Jones MP, said: “How we live and work today is directly affected by how good our broadband connection is.
Reliable connections enable new industries to flourish, help create jobs and give people flexibility in how and where they work.”