The government may claim that 90 per cent of the UK have access to superfast broadband, but in reality an analysis of customers' speeds in 20 major cities, including London, found most folk aren't even getting 24Mbps speeds.
Data from comparison site USwitch analysed actual speeds rather than available top speeds, indicating a low take-up of fibre broadband across the UK.
Of the the 42 cities to be analysed, the UK’s slowest broadband cities are Hull (12.42Mbps), Aberdeen (15.67Mbps) and Milton Keynes (17.10Mbps) while Middlesbrough is fastest (34.46Mbps).
Some 30 per cent broadband users register actual speeds of less than 5Mbps – and just 10 per cent are logging speeds above 50Mbps, according to price comparison and switching service uSwitch.com.
This suggests that barriers to the take-up of fibre broadband, including awareness of availability as well as pricing, could be improved in urban areas, according to the research.
The findings were based on data over a six-month period to February 2016 from 508,637 consumer speed tests.
Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, noted that Hull is the only place in the UK that doesn’t have Openreach lines. "Instead, independent telecoms supplier KCOM provides the broadband service. Although KCOM is currently rolling out ultrafast-capable, fibre-to-the-home connections in Hull, actual speed tests taken by broadband users would suggest this hasn’t reached enough homes yet to make an impact on the average."
He added: "With capital cities such as London and Edinburgh not on that list, we should be asking what more can be done to encourage the adoption of superfast broadband now it’s so widely available."
A Kcom spokesman said: "The figures quoted are based on speed tests a small proportion of our customers have carried out on the uSwitch website, rather than the actual average speed across our network, which is around 24Mbps."
"uSwitch has got one thing right," he added. "Hull's broadband infrastructure is unique. Unlike other providers, we're rolling out ultrafast fibre to people's homes. In Hull and East Yorkshire, that means speeds of 250Mbps are already available to consumers."
"We're connecting the equivalent of a new customer to ultrafast broadband every 30 minutes. Our approach means we'll be able to meet the needs of customers both now and in the future.”
Last month culture minister Ed Vaizey said: "We now have 93 per cent of the country able to receive fibre, 90 per cent of the country able to get superfast speeds of 24 megabits and above, and 50 per cent of the country able to get ultrafast broadband speeds of 100 megabits and above." ®