Broadband News

Slowest street in UK is actually the fastest street

Naming and shaming the slowest streets as a way to get lots of regional coverage has a long tradition in the UK and it is the turn of uSwitch to publish its analysis from visitors running its speed test.

Alas while the press release tries to highlight that that for a number in the slow lane superfast options are available, it is only done after the big headlines and with the pressure to turn around articles very quickly and create social media friendly (dare one say clickbait) headlines this important point is missed out.

The slowest street with an observed speed of 0.22 Mbps is said to be Kingsclere, in the Huntington area of York and while the original uSwitch table does tell you that superfast options are available what it does not tell anyone is that actually symmetric Gigabit full fibre is an option in that street via TalkTalk FibreNation/UFO roll-out in addition to the usual VDSL2 services (which are at superfast speeds by the way).

Criticising this press release can be seen as us grinding an axe against uSwitch, but while some may call thinkbroadband a comparison website we do a lot more than provide listings, such as the tracking of broadband coverage, analysis of speed tests going back a decade and details of the take-up of different technologies. The broadband speed tests that our visitors run are available for viewing on a map and this show cases the amount of testing we see (tests expire from the map after 3 months) and also gives an insight into how speeds can vary within a few metres in an area.

Table - UK’s ten slowest streets for broadband 

Rank

Street Name and Location

Average download speed (Mbps)

Superfast broadband available?

 

Rank

Original uSwitch column

Original uSwitch column

Original uSwitch column

thinkbroadband notes

1

Kingsclere, Huntington, York 

0.22

Yes

VDSL2 at superfast speeds, plus Gigabit FTTP available

2

Monksfield Way, Slough 

0.22

Yes

VDSL2 at superfast speeds, G.fast for the majority and Virgin Media cable at up to 500 Mbps

3

Ash Lane, Whitchurch 

0.32

To some 

VDSL2 available but down as not superfast speeds in our database

4

Dunlop, Kilmarnock 

0.33

No

This may be two locations:

Dunlop Street, Kilmarnock has VDSL2 with superfast speeds and some properties with VIrgin Media cable

OR

Dunlop village near Kilmarnock

where three VDSL2 cabinets provide superfast to the main village and the usual once 1km outside our estimates are for sub superfast speeds

5

Canisbay, Wick, Island of Stroma

0.39

To some

Island of Stroma is actually an abandoned island with zero population.

6

Duiletter, Colintraive, Argyllshire

0.46

No

A properly slow location

7

Eland Way, Cambridge

0.47

Yes

VDSL2 with superfast speeds and Virgin Media cable broadband

8

Ansley, Nuneaton

0.49

To some 

We presume there are talking about the village Ansley which is fully covered with VDSL2 and superfast speeds

9

Quarterland Road, Killinchy, Newtownards

0.49

No

A properly slow location

10

Malmesbury Park, Runcorn

0.54

Yes

VDSL2 with superfast speeds available

“Our research reveals the digital divide running through Britain. Residents living on one side of a city can be struggling with broadband as slow as molasses, while people just miles away are enjoying ultrafast speeds.

It’s ridiculous to think that it would take someone in York Road, Elvington less than seven minutes to download a two-hour HD film like Toy Story 4, yet it would take more than two and a half days for someone living less than 16 minutes’ drive away in Kingsclere, Huntington.

Lack of awareness regarding superfast broadband is one of the biggest obstacles stopping people from getting faster download speeds.

More than two-thirds of the slowest streets have access to superfast broadband, so we urge residents there — and anyone else unhappy with their broadband speeds — to visit uSwitch.com to see what speeds they could be getting.

Dani Warner, the uSwitch broadband expert

If anyone at uSwitch is reading this can we make a suggestion for next years release, you provide a three tables, the genuinely slow ones (thus highlighting the problems with coverage), those that are slow but can go a lot faster (highlighting ability for people to upgrade) if they opt for the upgrades, those with the fastest speeds.

We are always happy to cast an eye over material prior to its release too, and there are many times we have done this, from simple sanity checking of a providers claims through to sharing some of the results from data sets that are not on the public stats site at https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local

While we do charge for access to our availability API and we have to try and cover some of the work put into keeping it up to date, for low volume checking our labs site does let individuals query at the postcode level. The API is designed to allow comparison sites to filter packages and avoid the problem almost all the comparison sites have of trying to sell a 66 Mbps FTTC package to a visitor who will not even get superfast speeds and even those over 2km from their cabinet are invariably offers the fastest FTTC option. Things get even more funky on most comparison sites once you mention G.fast and Openreach FTTP.

This issue around offering people inappropriate FTTC/VDSL2 packages is important when sites are promoting themselves as sources for what speeds can get. Since the public are going to be very dissappointed when they see a deal for a £21.95/m 66 Mbps service but the reality is that they will only get 5 Mbps when they see the estimates from the provider.

The final difference this year with the uSwitch release is that broadband is one of the topics in the General Election (remember to vote on Thursday 12th December) and throwing out data that is easily re-used in sound bites but also does not stand up to fact checking runs the risk of clouding any actual debate.

Comments

Your own site also tried to offer 63Mbps to people on long lines, where it isn't available.

  • brianhe
  • about 1 month ago

Really would be nice to see a national campaign to get people to run a speed test.

Doubtful the big ISPs would be keen on promoting it mind you, I'd imagine the results maybe too unpalatable.

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

@brianhe Have checked and the package filter is working as expected.

Might be:

1. We have estimate wrong, check via https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/availability and drill into broadband services available to you link if Openreach FTTC is higher than what is possible then drop an email to [email protected] and it will get looked at.

2. As some providers only have a single FTTC package that covers all FTTC lines but advertises with a 63 Mbps average you may be seeing those, e.g. Vodafone Together, Sky Broadband Superfast. These will appear even if your line is long.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

Canisbay, Wick KW1 4YJ

VDSL Range A (Clean) 14.1

  • Somerset
  • about 1 month ago

Just street viewed that cab to refine estimates, not sure why they mentioned the island all.

They seem to flip between streets and villages in the tables.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

On the problem @brianhe was having pleased to report the algorithm has been tweaked so those outside reach of VDSL2 but connected to an enabled cabinet will not get shown any FTTC packages now.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

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