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Halifax nominates Waverley as the best rural area to live
Monday 08 April 2013 17:30:08 by Andrew Ferguson

Access to broadband may or may not be the top of your list when looking for some where to live, but when choosing between two otherwise similar properties it can be one of the critical factors. The Halifax (part of the Lloyds Banking Group) has published its 2013 Annual Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey, with the best place to live if a rural life is what you desire being Waverley in the South West corner of Surrey.

The survey used Point Topic data to assess broadband coverage, with a 2Mbps or faster service counting as fast broadband, and on that factor alone the best places in terms of percentage of households with access to fast broadband were:

  1. Chiltern, 94.6%
  2. Mid Sussex, 94.1%
  3. Thanet, 92.4%

This is not to say that these areas have the fastest broadband, but at 2 Mbps type speeds if you were to randomly pick a property they have the best chance of finding somewhere with a 2 Mbps or better connection.

Waverley District extends from the A3 between Milford and Hindhead north to include Farnham. Using our broadband map we can see that Farnham itself has the fibre optic FTTC Openreach service available, so if you pick the right property very fast speeds should be possible. Looking at the wider picture the Guildford postcode area (GU) has a median speed of 12.3 Mbps from our speed test data, and the mean is a lot higher at 21.9 Mbps suggesting that Virgin Media cable users and those who have opted for FTTC services are pushing up the mean.


Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
"with a 2Mbps or faster service counting as fast broadband," - Hmm. That will indeed be a boost to HMG omn the way to the best in Europe.

Do the Halifax actually understand?
Posted by bobdelamare over 4 years ago
As a long time resident in Waverley, I can see the big towns like Godalming, Farnham, Haslemere and Hindhead cabled up to Virgin will push up the average but you can hardly call that rural. In and around the villages it is still very hit and miss even when FTTC is available. Incidently Guildford isn't in Waverley. It's a separate borough. The GU postal district is another matter covering parts of Sussex, Hampshire and even outer London. Again difficult to equate to Waverley rural.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
I did say wider picture when referring to GU postcode. So don't panic I know that GU covers a much larger footprint.
Posted by RandomJointer over 4 years ago
Funnily enough, second place Mid Sussex District has no cable coverage at all.
Posted by trolleybus over 4 years ago
A story that does not merit to be included within TBB and hardly gives a representative view of speeds achievable in the RURAL areas covered by Waverley. Pockets of excellence yes, but "with a 2Mbps or faster service counting as fast broadband" it is hardly anything to shout about.

There are wide swaths of Waverley that you might get 2mbps+ on a good day but plummet down to less than 1mbps [and an unusable up service 0.1Mbps] for most of a 24 hour period.
Posted by trolleybus over 4 years ago
Just to finish off my message as it was too long: Yes BDUK is coming, eventually, but places like Tilford will still be under the radar for years to come. If I see the results of this flawed survey in advertising come to rural Waverley to live as we have the best broadband experience waiting for you, I will throw up.
Posted by hradley over 4 years ago
I do not know what data Halifax used - yes the Waverley area is avery nice area to live, however the broadband speeds are generally appalling - may be the odd exception in urban area. Surrey CC has done a deal with BT to address this but it's moving at a snails pace and many even semi rural areas are being neglected. I live in Churt (GU10 and GU26 ) served by Hindhead exchange which is not yet even 21CN enabled. The latest "promises" suggest we might get FTTC in first quarter 2015 , despite all other promises - countless times which have passed unfulfilled. Its avery bad joke!
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