/ Technology

Where the streets have slow broadband

UK flag on keyboard

Do you live in Wheatley Road in Essex, or Erw Fawr in Wales? If you do, the results of a Uswitch survey suggest that you’re getting some of the slowest broadband download speeds in the country.

The average download speed in the UK is around 17Mbps – pretty much fast enough to do everything you need the internet for, from streaming HD movies to gaming online.

However, Uswitch’s survey suggests that some people are getting average speeds of 0.6Mbps – nowhere near fast enough to reliably watch Netflix or BBC iPlayer. In fact, it would take more than 15 hours to download a high-def movie at those speeds.

Broadband speed guaranteed

Inevitably the reasons for this are likely to be a lack of high speed broadband infrastructure in those areas (a lot of the addresses listed are in rural parts of the country), and it’s hard to quickly solve those issues. However, part of our Broadband Speed Guaranteed campaign would see companies forced to be upfront about the speeds you can expect to achieve when your broadband deal is up and running. If your house is only likely to get online at very slow speeds, your provider should be up front about it.

There’s nothing more annoying than being sold a package at, say 15Mbps, only to find out that once it’s been switched on you’re struggling to get more than 1 or 2Mbps. Our campaign would ensure that providers give you a written speed estimate – a range and a pinpoint – at the outset of the contract. But more than that – if you can’t regularly achieve the minimum speed they quoted you, you should be able to get out of your contract, penalty-free. This will leave you free to look for a cheaper deal somewhere else.

So far more than 27,000 people have signed Broadband Speed Guarenteed petition, but we want more of you to support us to show providers how big an issue this is for people. Have you been sold a faster broadband package than you’ve ever been able to achieve?

Comments
Guest
anthony moody says:
25 April 2014

Why should those who receive slower BB speed pay the same as those who have much higher
speed. this is a rip-off by the BB companies.

Guest
alan says:
25 April 2014

I don’t agree.
I’m rural and average 0.6Mbs, but actually pay more than residents in the town as my provider does not have their own equipment in my local exchange.
No other provider has their equipment installed either and BT is very expensive and just as slow

Guest
JOHN DIXON says:
25 April 2014

Even 1 or 2 Mbps would be a wonderful improvement for people along my road in rural Norfolk. Our official service is 500Kbps but I have rarely found it reaches 135Kbps, sometimes just grinding to a halt! My Camera Club sometimes sends out images in attached documents of 2 or 3 Mbs and my email system just stops so that I have to go to Yahoo and check what size of file is blocking the system and remove it!

We are at the end of the road about 8 km from the exchange and you don;’t check your emails or go online when the kids along the road get back from school because you won’t even connect!

What I object to is that we have to pay the same rate as everyone else for our service. Streaming is our of the question and even the most straight forward YouTube film is usually jerky and best accessed at 2.00am when no one else is using the system.

Guest
Deirdre P says:
25 April 2014

Your broadband ‘service’ should be paying you for your time and patience!

Guest

Here here. We get a rubbish service, so why should we have to pay for it? Perhaps if those who regularly get less than 1Mbps (or perhaps even half that) couldn’t be charged for it then more resources would be put into improving these very low speeds?

Guest
Michael Palmer says:
25 April 2014

0.5 Mbps and constant drop offs. Fiber optic cable came to the school in our village but then transferred to a school up the road half a mile away. They get up to 60 Mbps .BT refused to connect our village as not commercially viable despite government funding for rural areas in East Sussex.

Guest

Some rural communities have come together to finance use of a JCB to dig channels so pipes may be laid in which fibre optic cables may be placed. It is a lot cheaper than asking BT to do the entire work.

Guest
Les says:
25 April 2014

My provider is utility warehouse, who have a pretty good reputation and I started with them because of Which? Recommendations. I live in London and, when I checked, was getting 4 Mbps. I contacted UW about this and they improved it to 6 Mbps. It seems fast enough for what I use it for, but, from what you say in this article, nowhere near what it should be, especially in London.

Guest
RichardParish says:
25 April 2014

I am with AOL and most of the time can only get between 0.5 and 0.2 mbps download speed, despite being told that that we should receive approximately 3.7. We have been reporting this for months. AOL claim that the fault is with BT, who supply the line, and BT say that it is AOL. Eventually, all that AOL could suggest was that we should go to one of their competitors, who should be able to provide a better service. I have had my AOL email address for around 15 years and the disruption both personally and from a business point of view will be huge. It is about time that consumers received an accurate description of their broadband speed and the service they pay for!