London 'held back by slow broadband speeds' header image

Published: 17th Feb 2015

London has access to some of the slowest broadband speeds in Europe and is subsequently being held back in comparison to other countries, according to research.

The 144-page study produced by the House of Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills claims that London is lagging behind in 26th place on a league table for connectivity in Europe's capital cities, the Evening Standard reports.

Downloads in the British capital take three times longer compared to Paris, while also being twice as slow as the speeds achieved in Reykjavik in Iceland.

In addition, London "contrasted drastically" with Bucharest, the capital of Romania and top of the leader board, the report noted.

Baroness Sally Morgan, chairperson of the committee, told the newspaper that the information contained in the document should be a clear "call to action" for the government to improve broadband speeds for the UK.

She said: "We saw and heard lots of evidence of great entrepreneurship and creativity in London. But we also heard that there is a danger that London is not keeping up with its international competitors.

"We believe that the internet is as important to our future economic success as electricity was in the past. And that means superfast broadband too. So this is a call to action to the new government in May."

The report described the UK as a whole as dramatically lagging behind the rest of Europe in terms of connectivity. It noted that ten million homes and businesses are currently unable to access super-fast broadband speeds and data from web speed firm Ookla revealed that London has slid down the league table by four places since 2009.

London's average speeds of 25.44 Mbps is leaps and bounds behind Bucharest's 80.14 Mbps, while our capital's connectivity is at least 10 Mpbs lower than the average in Europe, which is 36.4 Mbps.

In addition, the capital came 38th in Ookla's top 40 British cities and towns in terms of broadband speeds, coming behind Bolton, Bristol, Preston and Peterborough, among others.

The Select Committee claims that the report should be a stark warning that the UK could be being held back because of its poor connectivity.