In December, we produced a round-up of the regional speed test results, reviewing the performance of the second half of 2008 against the first. We concluded that speed increases were mainly focussed away from cities, indicating some evening of service levels although more rural regions were still lagging behind.
Our speed test sample is based on 188,000 unique tests from 36,000 unique postcodes providing the UK's largest sample of speed tests:
|Region||Download Speed (Kbps)||Upload Speed (Kbps)||Number of test sites|
|Yorks & Humber||3,468||449||2,815|
|National Average||3,608||444||(Sample: 35,998)|
In general, the ranking of the regions remained the same with West Midlands improving significantly from 3.2 Mbps; Also it is worth noting the London's average speed only increased by 2%. The average speed across the country has increased from 3.2 to 3.6 meg.
Although Wales appear at the bottom of the table, it is worth noting that the cities of Cardiff, Newport & Swansea still achieve a higher speed, around 3 meg, whilst remaining areas of Wales only manage 2.3 meg. Similarly in Scotland, Edinburgh & Glasgow are on par with parts of London averaging in excess of 4.2 Mbps, indicating that the Welsh and Scottish figures are again significantly influenced by the population densities in less populated areas.
This pattern repeats in the English counties and cities where population centres have faster services both due to increased choice of “Local Loop Unbundled” (LLU) operators as well as shorter local loop distances (the length of the telephone line from the end user premises to the local telephone exchange). It is important to note that the speeds featured in these statistics are average speeds and thus do not reflect the range of ‘available speeds’ on faster packages in some areas which may not have significant take up.
These results show that the rural broadband speeds remain significantly below those in cities. This is likely to be due to both shorter telephone line lengths which help to sustain higher speed services, as well as more competition in between wholesale suppliers in metropolitan areas. Also, it shows that Greater London is ahead in offering more of its users connections faster than 8 meg.