Saturday, 30 June 2007 09:26

Rural broadband 'not up to speed'

Written by  Ruralcity Media
ImageHouseholds in rural areas are being misled by broadband providers about the speed of their connections.

Only 21% of rural homes receive the broadband speeds they pay for, reveals a study.

Furthermore, broadband is up to 17 times more expensive in Britain than in other parts of Europe, according to research by MoneySupermarket, the price comparison website.

British consumers pay £5.60 a month for each megabit per second of broadband speed, with the UK lying 12th in the league table of European broadband prices.

Broadband is 17 times more expensive in Britain than in Sweden and seven times more expensive than in France.

Even more expensive countries often offer a better service.

In Poland, consumers pay £6.60 a month per Mbps. But their broadband is on average three times faster than in the UK.

British houses only receive on average 2.6Mbps – 16th out of 23 countries.

Jason Lloyd, head of broadband at MoneySupermarket, said the problem was the UK’s antiquated telecommunication system.

Many European companies have installed fibre optic wires underground, but the British system relies on old copper wires.

This means many households, especially those in rural areas, do not receive the broadband speeds for which they signed up.

To support the research, broadband data specialist Sam Crawford, of the website Sam Knows, was commissioned to create a broadband map of Britain.

“The map shows people living in urban areas often get the fastest speeds and the best deals,” said Mr Crawford.

“If you live in a more remote part of the country, the reality is you will often be paying the same price as your urban counterpart but receiving a slower speed.”

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