By Claire West
New speed test data from independent price comparison and switching service, uSwitch.com, reveals not a single UK town or city is super-fast yet when it comes to broadband. The fastest urban area for broadband is Telford in Shropshire, but even here, average download speeds of 23Mbps still fall short of the super-fast minimum speed of 24Mbps.
The speed test data — collected from broadband users in the 50 biggest UK cities and towns — shows that Belfast is the only capital city with average speeds above 20Mbps. Even London, the financial capital of the world, is trailing behind what the Government classes as super-fast, with average download speeds of 17Mbps. Shockingly, almost a fifth of broadband users in London (19%) are getting speeds of less than 3Mbps. It would take almost six hours to download a BluRay film at this speed.
And although the average download speed across the whole of Britain has risen in recent years to 14.5Mbps, more than a quarter (27%) of postcodes suffer from sluggish speeds averaging less than 3Mbps.
In urban areas, Hull has made the least progress. In the past year, speeds there have increased by just 26% to 10.5Mbps. In contrast, Leeds has seen speeds rocket by 87% since 2012. Further south, Norwich is also making fast progress, with speeds up 75% in just a year. However, it’s still one of the slowest UK cities for broadband, averaging 11.6Mbps. And its residents are still most likely to be struggling - over a third (35%) have not seen their average speeds break 3Mbps in the last 12 months, and neither have broadband users in Huddersfield and York.