A third of homes in the UK have broadband speeds well below the national average, according to research from price comparison site uSwitch. While half of addresses get broadband speeds of 6.7Mbps or above, a third struggle to get speeds above 5Mbps, 1.7m speed tests found.
The East Sussex village of Winchelsea was the slowest, with an average speed of 1.1Mbps, according to uSwitch. Hereford was the slowest city, with average speeds of 3.1Mbps.
The government wants to see super-fast broadband as the gold standard in most UK homes, and has pledged to make the UK the fastest broadband nation in Europe by 2015. By that time, it also promises to make sure that all homes have speeds of at least 2Mbps.
The uSwitch data – based on 1.68 million speed tests carried out over the last six months – suggests that there could still be some way to go.
UK’S SLOWEST POSTCODES
- Winchelsea, East Sussex – 1.1Mbps
- Menstrie, Clackmannanshire – 1.2Mbps
- Askam in Furness, Cumbria – 1.25Mbps
- St Bees, Cumbria – 1.38Mbps
- Ripley, Surrey – 1.5Mbps
- Newbiggin-by-the-sea, Northumberland – 1.6Mbps
- Pembroke, Pembrokeshire – 1.65Mbps
- Johnstone, Renfrewshire – 1.8Mbps
- Lampeter, Ceredigion – 1.8Mbps
- Watchet, Somerset – 1.8Mbps
Other towns and cities to offer average broadband speeds of below 5Mbps include Kilmarnock (3.2Mbps), Dumfries (3.6Mbps), Canterbury (4Mbps) and Shrewsbury (4Mbps).
The government has provided £530m to help local councils fill in the UK’s blackspots. Cumbria, which has several areas in the top 10 slowest postcodes, received the biggest amount, with more than £17m to cope with its 96% of homes eligible for subsidies. Councils will have to put some of their own money towards the costs, and some have been slow to get the projects off the ground.
For those in well-connected postcodes, the news is much better. Both Virgin Media and BT have recently turned up the speed dial on their broadband services. Virgin announced that broadband with speeds of up to 100Mbps was now available to 10 million homes, while BT pledged to offer some homes speeds of up to 300Mbps by 2013.
Source: BBC News
Posted in: Digital Britain
Sweden and Singapore are the most competitive countries in the digital economy, according to The Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011 by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Nordic and Asian economies are best at using information and communications technologies (ICT) to boost their growth, the WEF said. Finland is in third place, Switzerland fourth and the United States fifth. The UK is down in fifteenth place.
The WEF said ICT was “a key enabler of a more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable world”. It said the use of information communications technology was especially important “in the aftermath of one of the most serious economic crises in decades”.
MOST DIGITALLY CONNECTED ECONOMIES
- South Korea
The WEF report focuses on the power of ICT to transform society in the next decade through modernisation and innovation.
Other highly-placed Nordic countries include Denmark in seventh spot and Norway in ninth place, with Iceland ranked in 16th position. Meanwhile, led by Singapore in second place, the other Asian Tiger economies highly placed are Taiwan and South Korea in sixth and tenth position respectively, and Hong Kong following closely in 12th. Canada completes the top 10 in eighth position.
The report, which covers 138 economies, looks at three areas.
They are the general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; the readiness of the three key stakeholder sectors – individuals, businesses and governments – to use and benefit from ICT; and the actual usage of available ICT.
Source: BBC News