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Broadband: The UK's five slowest (and fastest) towns and villages revealed

  • Data extracted from Cable.co.uk's own speed test results from the last 12 months
  • Miserden in Gloucestershire has the slowest average broadband speed in the UK at just 1.30Mbps – the lowest speed measured there was a staggeringly low 0.12Mbps
  • Five slowest UK towns and villages have worse broadband than Mount Everest base camp
  • Two of the five slowest places are in Cumbria
  • Cable.co.uk's data finds Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire has the fastest average broadband speed at 77.17Mbps – sixty times faster, on average than in Miserden, Gloucestershire

Thursday, 4 March 2016: Using its accumulated speed test data, consumer broadband advice site Cable.co.uk has identified the five slowest UK towns and villages (where broadband speeds are slower than Mount Everest), and the five fastest, with average speeds between five and seven times those measured in California – home of Silicon Valley.

Miserden in Gloucestershire has an average broadband speed of 1.30Mbps, the slowest in the country according to Cable.co.uk's consumer speed test results for the past 12 months. Out of the ninety-four speed tests conducted by Miserden residents, the slowest download speed recorded in the area is 0.12Mbps.

On average, in Miserden, it would take 11 hours to download James Bond's latest outing 'Spectre' in HD (and, of course, no one would be able to use the internet in that time). If you were the unfortunate Miserden resident who measured their speed at 0.12Mbps, the same feat would take 119 hours – roughly five days!

The four other areas with the slowest average broadband speeds in the UK are the village of Ashwell in Hertfordshire (1.39Mbps), market town Ulverston in Cumbria (1.45Mbps), Gilsland village in Cumbria (1.86Mbps) and the village of Brent Knoll in 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.

Residents of Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire recorded an average broadband speed of 77.27Mbps, with one user reporting a whopping 195Mbps. This is nearly sixty times faster than the average broadband speed in Miserden. Meanwhile, the top speed measured in Rickmansworth is 1,625 times faster than the slowest in Miserden.

Based on these results, in Rickmansworth it would take just 11 minutes to download 'Spectre', and just 4 minutes 24 seconds on Rickmansworth's fastest connection.

The second fastest area is Shepshed, a town in Leicestershire with an average speed of 66.34Mbps, followed by the coastal town of Llanwit Major in Glamorgan (66.27Mbps), the market town of Guisborough in Cleveland (61.43Mbps) and the inner city district of Springburn in Glasgow (60.27Mbps).

Commenting on the data, Dan Howdle, telecoms expert at broadband and phone advice site Cable.co.uk, 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.

"While the number of UK households on the right side of the 'digital divide' is increasing thanks to the continuing rollout of superfast broadband, those left stranded are finding themselves further and further behind – to the detriment of both themselves and their local economies.

"And it's not all about whether or not you can stream the latest Bond movie. 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."

Top five UK towns and villages with the slowest broadband speeds

The past: the birth of mobile internet

Top five UK towns and villages with the fastest broadband speeds

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Notes to editors

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What is Cable.co.uk?

Cable.co.uk is a broadband, TV and phone comparator, unique news source and consumer champion.

Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades. Having spent 12 years at the coalface of consumer telecoms research, initiating and running projects both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now Director of Communications and in-house consumer telecoms expert for Cable.co.uk.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer who frequently appears on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers and their websites, Dan leads a team of journalists and communications folk who spend their days researching and reporting on problems faced by UK broadband, TV and mobile customers both on an individual and macro level.

Dan campaigns on many issues currently facing consumers of broadband, TV and mobile products in the UK. These include, but are not limited to: Rural broadband provision; mobile coverage; broadband, TV and mobile customer contract issues; broadband and mobile broadband speeds; switching and money-saving; infrastructural challenges; pricing, changes and structures; shifts in technology and the marketplace; telecoms regulation, policy and law; fines, adjudications and policy changes; mergers and closures of UK providers; annual financials and more.

Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality. He also administers and adjudicates the yearly Broadband Service Quality Awards and sits on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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