Published: 14th Mar 2013
Broadband speeds in rural areas are considerably slower than the UK average, according to a new report by Ofcom.
The telecommunications watchdog's research found the typical download speed in rural areas is 5.1 Mbp/s, compared to 13.9 Mbp/s in urban locations.
It revealed the maximum speed for the countryside is 5.9 Mbp/s, which is nearly three times lower than urban areas where it is 15.1Mbp/s.
This means rural internet services are 50 per cent slower than the total UK average of 12.1 Mbp/s.
These figures show that while rural connections have improved on the average speed of 3.5 Mbp/s, which was reported by Ofcom in August 2012, they are still well below the 20 Mbp/s required for super-fast broadband.
ADSL services have a particularly poor level of performance, with the average rural connection achieving download speeds of just 3.7 Mbp/s and a maximum of 4.2 Mbp/s.
These statistics highlight the benefits that satellite broadband can bring to people in rural areas. The Tooway service provided by Avonline reaches speeds of 20 Mbp/s, which is almost four times higher than the current average.
Avonline's satellite broadband packages also have upload speeds of 6 Mbp/s, which is well above the UK average of 1.4 Mbp/s.
The higher speeds provided by satellite-based internet connections make it much easier for people to work from home, stream high definition video content and upload large files, even in areas that are a long way from the nearest data exchange, or are poorly served by the large internet service providers (ISPs).
Ofcom's report is based on data collected from over 2,000 households throughout the UK in November 2012 and covered the eight largest ISPs in the UK.
It found that the total amount of super-fast connections in the country has increased to 13 per cent, compared to just five per cent in November 2011.
Posted by Craig Roberts
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