Saturday, 05 March 2016 17:20

Rural broadband worse than at Everest

Written by  Ruralcity Media

BRITAIN'S slowest rural broadband connections are worse than at Mount Everest, reveals the latest figures.

The village of Miserden in Gloucestershire has the UK's slowest average broadband at just 1.30Mbps, according to data extracted from speed tests by Cable.co.uk.

Results from the last 12 months show the lowest speed in Miserden measured there was a staggeringly low 0.12Mbps - slower than the broadband connection at Mount Everest base camp.

The fastest average broadband speed can be found in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. It measures 77.17Mbps – sixty times faster, on average, than Miserden.

    See also: Rural communities deserve better broadband

Some 94 speed tests conducted by Miserden residents suggest it would take an average of 11 hours to download James Bond's latest outing 'Spectre' in HD.

On the slowest Miserden connection of 0.12Mbps, the same feat would take 119 hours – roughly five days.

The four other areas with the slowest broadband are Ashwell, Hertfordshire (1.39Mbps), Ulverston, Cumbria (1.45Mbps); Gilsland, Cumbria (1.86Mbps); and Brent Knoll, Somerset (1.99Mbps).

Comparatively, visitors to the Mount Everest base camp can access minimum speeds of 2Mbps via a satellite broadband connection.

In December 2015, the government confirmed that everyone in the UK is guaranteed minimum broadband speeds of 2Mbps.

Cable.co.uk's speed test data also identifies the UK towns and villages with the fastest average broadband speeds.

Commenting on the findings, Cable.co.uk telecoms expert Dan Howdle said: "Digital inequality is a huge problem in the UK, both for those who suffer at the bottom end, and for the UK economy as a whole."

The number of UK households on the right side of the 'digital divide' was increasing thanks to the continuing rollout of superfast broadband, said, Mr Howdle.

But those left stranded were finding themselves further and further behind – to the detriment of both themselves and their local economies.

"It's not all about whether or not you can stream the latest Bond movie," said Mr Howdle.

"Digital black holes like Ulverston, Miserden and others, unless addressed, will suffer steady economic decline as homes become less desirable, and businesses can no longer sustain themselves without an online presence.

"These often beautiful, scenic locations will become ghost towns."

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