uSwitch has published a new round of analysis on broadband speeds in the UK, and has focussed on the 42 biggest urban areas where it a significant amount of data to give meaningful results for the period 9th August 2015 to 8th February 2016.
|Rank||UK City/Town||Average Download Speed|
|34||Newcastle Upon Tyne||21.14 Mbps|
|40||Milton Keynes||17.1 Mbps|
|42||Kingston Upon Hull||12.42 Mbps|
Of course we have our own analysis from our speed test results and a deeper analysis of your area available via the postcode search on on coverage and speed tool. Our analysis also breaks out the average speeds for the different technologies in an area.
What has been interesting about this release of data is the way it is being reported and it is almost being used to try and show that the Governments target for 90% superfast coverage which we reported on recently being met is actually a sham and failure (for the record the Q1/2016 average speed for VDSL2 was 28.2 Mbps down and 7 Mbps up, medians of 26.5 Mbps and 6.1 Mbps). Alas this overlooks the realities of the broadband market and that no-one is twisting the arm of people to upgrade to the newer faster services. Encouraging people to spend more per month on their broadband can be a difficult task and there is a real possibility that the often negative headlines about speed, coverage and customer service issues mean the average person feels better off staying with the service they have.
Looking at Kingston Upon Hull in a bit more detail, we have a slightly higher average speed of 16.3 Mbps down and 3.7 Mbps up (median 5.9 Mbps and 0.7 Mbps), the average actually rises to 17.1 Mbps down and 3.8 Mbps up when we filter out the non KCom customers. The reason for Hull being so slow is that only around 4 out of 10 premises have access to KCom Lightstream (take-up will of course be significantly lower) and looking at the technology split we see KCom ADSL2+ customers with an average of 4.9 Mbps and 0.6 Mbps and even though Lightstream a 250 Mbps option using FTTH it looks like the up to 50 Mbps option is the most popular as Lightstream has an average of 35.5 Mbps down and 8.2 Mbps up.
The popularity of the fastest broadband options or rather the low popularity is very clearly demonstrated by the City of Nottingham, where the theory says if everyone purchased the fastest available connection an average download speed of 186.5 Mbps is possible. The 186.5 Mbps figure looks implausibly high, but with Virgin Media available to 91.5% of premises and their fastest option being 200 Mbps (and now if you ask you can get a 300 Mbps service in some areas) it is possible. The reality we are seeing for Nottingham is an average 33 Mbps down and 4.6 Mbps up, FTTC/VDSL2 customers average 30.6 Mbps down and 7.8 Mbps up, cable 47.9 Mbps down and 5.7 Mbps up, mobile 11.6 Mbps down and 2.5 Mbps up and finally ADSL2+ 7.1 Mbps and 0.6 Mbps up.
The big driver for getting faster broadband at home will be teenagers and multiple occupancy, since the days of everyone watching the same TV show from a choice of 3 channels are a dream from the 1970's. The shift of BBC Three from broadcast to an online TV channel shows how established online video is as the killer app for broadband and for any home so long as their connection can cope with the viewing habits of the household encouraging them to upgrade to spend more is harder, in fact we have seen a trend of people who have bought the fastest package downgrading to save money once they look at what speeds they actually need rather than what the marketing people say they need. We had expected the BBC Three online shift to cause a big outcry from millions not able to stream it, but beyond the complaints about the change there has been very little in terms of complaints about not being able to watch BBC Three content.