Broadband News

uSwitch claims to name UK fastest and slowest streets

uSwitch is back with its fastest and slowest street data once again and we have taken a look at the list of streets and found the list of the fastest streets to be totally missing the availability of 1000 Mbps (Gigabit) services and in their list of the slowest streets they have overlooked the availability of some alternative results.

The latest set of results is apparently based on over 1 million consumer speed tests in the six months from August 2014 to February 2015, which while this sounds like a lot to the layman, when you consider the UK has 1.7 million postcodes alone and over 27 million premises means that the data should be reasonable enough to identify how different council areas and postcode groups but not to give statistically reasonable averages for individual streets.

Fixed line versus fixed wireless in Williamson Road, Lydd on Sea, Kent
Click image for full size version

Williamson Road in Lydd on Sea in Kent was identified as the slowest road in the UK (uSwitch average 0.535 Mbps), but looking at our own data reveals that while ADSL/ADSL2+ based services are slow and in the 0.6 to 1.4 Mbps region in that road and adjoining roads, a faster service is available in the form of VFast fixed wireless. Another of the slowest streets was Styles Close in Luton with an average 0.8 Mbps download, we have some test data showing speeds of 1 Mbps, but a quick check reveals that FTTC is available to order, so the street should NOT be labelled as the third slowest street. We also are unclear how uSwitch can declare an average for the 31 houses in Styles Close based on their data volume.

BT Wholesale FTTC speed estimate for property in Styles Close, Luton
Click image for full size version

Of course doubts like this have not stopped lots of newspapers covering this as fact with headlines about postcode lottery speeds and so far all of them are not noticing areas like E20 which has Hyperoptic Gigabit services but also GEA-FTTP at speeds of up to 330 Mbps. Then of course there are the Gigabit villages created by B4rn that are also missing.

Update 4:15pm EE have been in touch to say that if residents of Williamson Road in Romney Marsh email [email protected] and supply proof of their address they can be provided with a free EE 4G superfast trial using a 4G WiFi ‘Osprey’ device with 6GB of data allowance pre-loaded. The offer is limited to one device per household and expires on 31st March 2015, with the data expiring after 90 days. For those looking to use 4G as a home based connection (assuming their data needs fit into the various allowances) then a full router like the Huawei B593 may be worth considering and should work across the various UK 4G providers with the appropriate SIM installed.


These things are all about gaining publicity for the price comparison site and absolutely nothing about informing anybody about the real state of Internet access in the country.

  • TheEulerID
  • over 5 years ago

Apart from the valiant efforts of Thinkbroadband I cannot think of anything else that informs anybody about the real state of Internet access in the country.

  • gerarda
  • over 5 years ago

I like the one test in Styles Close, not even up to date data, as a test on 1st Feb 2015 gives 2.44Mb from Sky on their site.
Keepers Close ( next road) could be even slower as it has no tests at all!

  • jumpmum
  • over 5 years ago

Virtually no speed tests showing in SW9 6xx. However as mentioned in the article it isn't the speed test that are important but rather the availability of broadband and from a greater range of providers than those listed by uSwitch. The site contains so many errors, for example it shows FTTC as being available to two SW9 6Ux postcodes where all lines are currently EO.

  • MCM999
  • over 5 years ago

I have the Huawei b593 and it is excellent. I currently have 1.7Mbps ADSL2 and run an IT business so I got the router, stuck it in an upstairs window with an EE 24 month data SIM in it and it's brilliant.
It only gets 1 bar 3G (-101dBm) but that pulls in 10 - 15 Mbps. My mast is soon to go 4G I hope so that will mean an automatic upgrade to 30-80 meg!
Great device as it's a proper router with all the normal firewall etc. settings of an ADSL version.

  • ahockings
  • over 5 years ago

The implications of this are that nobody gets less that the "slowest street", which is patently incorrect. If you cannot get fixed line broadband at all, then you are slower than the slowest. It is very nice of EE to offer a 4G trial, but it is fortunate that this road (presumably) has 4G coverage. I warmly invite EE or any mobile operator to come to a remote rural area and fill the void - good PR would be assured :)

  • NickDuffill
  • over 5 years ago

USwitch are frankly a waste of space. They fail miserably to give correct or accurate information on utilities , no surprise to see the nonsense they published about broadband speeds.

  • AdrianPH
  • over 5 years ago

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