Reference Library – Scotland – West Lothian – Armadale

Which bits of the UK are beauty and beast for mobile broadband?

Mobile broadband is something that when it works you simply do not notice it and you get on with whatever you are doing, whether that be uploading your latest selfie to your millions of followers or responding to an important work email after spending 30 minutes using your mobile to check the information so you can respond while away from the office.

4G is the latest incarnation and we know it can do amazing speeds with some people delivering speed tests of over 200 Mbps in the download direction and 30 Mbps upload speeds, of course the latest 4G handsets with support for CAT9 are needed to see those speeds but you also need a provider that supports the speeds and also has the widespread coverage. OpenSignal who offer an app that collects data on mobile signal strength and does some testing in return for helping you find the best locations for 4G based on the crowd sourced information have published their coverage data1, highlighting that coverage and speeds are vary variable across UK cities. Of course we have our own data on this and you can search on broadband availability and speeds site2 for how your area is performing.

The Top 10 UK Council Areas for Mobile Broadband Speeds Q1/2017
Data from thinkbroadband speed test Area Download Speed of bottom 25%
(Mbps) Median Download
(Mbps) Mean Download
(Mbps) Download Speed of top 25%
Mbps Median Upload
(Mbps) Mean Upload
(Mbps) Waveney District 9.9 22.6 44.5 34.5 5.4 8.1 South Tyneside District 6.2 17.3 39.1 34 3.7 5.8 Enfield London Borough 7.7 12.8 38.6 22 3.2 6 North Tyneside District 5.3 19.9 38.4 32 3.2 8 Charnwood District 9.5 16 37.4 23.3 4.6 6 Windsor and Maidenhead 8.3 17.2 36.6 33.1 2.7 9.3 Bexley London Borough 9.1 18.6 34.5 33.9 3.8 7.5 Bassetlaw District 9.8 15.2 31.8 35.5 2.9 5.8 Erewash District 11.1 21.6 31.2 44.8 3.4 6.2 Camden London Borough 6.2 23 31 37 5.7 5.7

What is interesting to see is that the median and mean speeds are often very different, highlighting that when some people get good 4G it is really good and can thus pull the mean a lot higher. With a modern Internet where we are all content creators to some extent upload speeds are equally important and therefore we have included the mean and median figures.

The Bottom 10 UK Council Areas for Mobile Broadband Speeds Q1/2017
Data from thinkbroadband speed test
Slowest at top of table Area Download Speed of bottom 25%
(Mbps) Median Download
(Mbps) Mean Download
(Mbps) Download Speed of top 25%
Mbps Median Upload
(Mbps) Mean Upload
(Mbps) Fenland District 2.8 9.1 10.2 13.3 1.5 2.1 Waltham Forest London Borough 2.7 7.5 12.7 18.7 1.5 3.2 Brent London Borough 2.8 9.2 14.1 18.3 1.4 3 Suffolk Coastal District 4.8 10.3 14.1 22.8 1.6 3.2 Harrogate District 6.5 10.8 14.1 16.7 1.5 3.8 Pendle District 4.6 8.9 14.2 21.4 1.7 3.3 West Lothian 6 11.7 14.3 23.8 2.8 2.9 Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough 5.4 9.9 14.5 25.8 3.6 5.1 City of Nottingham 4.1 12.8 14.6 17.9 1.7 3 Torbay 9.1 13.6 14.7 21.5 1.1 1.9

The fact that three London Boroughs are in the bottom 10 council areas may surprise some, but is in line with the Opensignal results that rank London as 16th out of 20 UK urban areas. The spread across different parts of London is very apparent when you just view those areas, and for a wider UK picture we have also included a copy of the metropolitan district councils. Ofcom is on record saying that “Ofcom rules mean that virtually all UK premises must receive a 4G signal by the end of this year. We’re also making available valuable new airwaves to boost mobile broadband, and have challenged mobile operators to explore how to reach all remote areas and transport lines.” so it will be interesting to see what difference there is when we look at the Q1/2018 figures in 12 months time.

On the extra spectrum it needs to be highlighted that while the release of the 700 MHz is a massive boost to coverage it is a part of the spectrum that will not give the best speeds and if masts are spread too thinly issues will arise at peak times. The problem facing Ofcom and the Government is that much money and time is being spent on the next greatest thing since sliced bread in the form of 5G, but if 5G is to hit the ground running and be a big showcase for the UK many more masts need deploying and better to start that now and offer 4G rather than wait another few years. Some cities are ahead of the game as the roll-out of ‘free’ Wi-Fi means that adding 5G at its highest Gigabit speeds should be a simple upgrade of existing hardware in various bits of unobtrusive street furniture. If you have spare mobile data allowance and want to help with our mobile broadband speed plotting then you can try our mobile tester version3 which will request access to location information and will automatically align this to the closest postcode if the location accuracy is good. This tester is one we use when plotting speeds in areas on foot ourselves and is configured to repeat a test every 10 minutes if you are on foot and if you do not want that behaviour simply closing the web page will ensure we don’t use any background data.

The web app can also be added to your home screen for easy access, since the URL is not easy to type.


  1. ^ coverage data (
  2. ^ broadband availability and speeds site (
  3. ^ SSL based speed test with automatic location detection (

Virgin Media Increases ‘Standard’ Broadband To 100Mbps

Virgin Media has thrown down a challenge with the news that its default line speed is now quicker than the top speed offered by rival Internet Service Providers (ISPs). It has made ultrafast broadband standard[1] with new bundles, which means that customers should be to enjoy speeds of 100Mbps and above as standard. And if 100Mbps is not fast enough, Virgin Media has now raised the top line speed for consumers from 200Mbps to 300Mbps, from the end of March.Virgin Media Union logo on white

Need For Speed?

The decision by Virgin Media to revamp its broadband bundles and offer ultrafast speeds of 100Mbps and above as standard, is an aggressive move in the fiercely competitive broaband advertising arena[2].

Quite how anyone would fully utilise the bandwidth from a 100Mbps (or 300Mbps) connection remains to be seen, but Virgin Media was quick to point out that the top speed from Openreach in comparison is 76Mbps. Virgin Media has also launched the Virgin TV V6 box, will be included in the new Mix, Fun and Full House bundles. And existing customers can upgrade their boxes to the Virgin TV V6 box, with pricing varying depending on the package taken.

“By beefing up our bundles we’re leaving our competitors in the rear view mirror, starting where they finish,” explained Tom Mockridge, CEO of Virgin Media. “Eye-watering speeds, a better box and top-notch TV is a winning combination. “More and more switchers[3] tell us they are joining Virgin Media for our faster speeds and we understand why – whether it’s 4K Netflix, box sets in multiple rooms or online gaming, the best entertainment requires the best broadband and we’re making sure our customers are covered with these bundles at incredible value,” he said. Virgin Media apparently launched its TV V6 box towards the end of last year, and it is being touted as the smallest, smartest and fastest box yet from the company.

It allows people to record six shows while watching a seventh. It also supports 4K Ultra-High Definition and comes with 1TB of storage allowing 500 hours of SD recordings or 100 hours of HD recordings.

Network Expansion

Virgin Media of course operates its own network and is not dependent on BT Openreach lines, most of which are deployed via the fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) approach. Earlier this month Virgin Media revealed it was connecting 38,000 homes[4] to its broadband network in Edinburgh and West Lothian, as part of the ongoing ‘Project Lightning’ expansion programme.

It has also connected two million properties to fibre to the premise (FTTP)[5], and will connect 4m properties to its cable network by 2019 – half of which will be FTTP broadband. Quiz: What do you know about Virgin Media[6]? Using a combination of Long-Term Evolution technologies and Network Element series industrial routers, Huawei has designed a next-generation urban rail [7]

Vehicular connectivity has become a means for basic safety messaging and traffic management over the past 20 years, but now new sensors are equipping cars [8]

The Gartner Magic Quadrant reports are one of the de-facto evaluations in measuring vendor offerings.

The industry and its various segments attach a high [9]


  1. ^ ultrafast broadband standard (
  2. ^ fiercely competitive broaband advertising arena (
  3. ^ more switchers (
  4. ^ connecting 38,000 homes (
  5. ^ two million properties to fibre to the premise (FTTP) (
  6. ^ What do you know about Virgin Media (
  7. ^ (
  8. ^ (
  9. ^ (

Two die and four in hospital following collision on M9 near Linlithgow

Police in West Lothian are in attendance at a serious road traffic collision on the eastbound carriageway of the M9 motorway between Polmont and Linlithgow.

The incident happened around 9 pm on Friday 29th January 2016 where a van and a car have collided. Two persons sadly died at the scene and a further four persons have been taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital and their conditions are described as serious. The motorway will remain closed between junctions 4 and 3 eastbound while the collision investigation takes place.

A police spokeswoman said: This has been a serious road traffic collision which has resulted in two people losing their lives.

We are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed it or who has information that can assist us in our inquiries.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.