Manchester residents hit out at slow broadband header image

Published: 7th Apr 2014

People living in central Manchester are unhappy with the speed of their broadband connections. 

Residents of the city centre are disappointed they do not have access to super-fast services while businesses in the area do and have set up a campaign that calls for this to change.

The campaign is led by councillors from the Labour Party and they will be presenting a petition to BT on the issue in May. 

Rick Parker, who lives in the Spinningfields area of the city, told the Manchester Evening News: "I work in town and I know my firm has high-speed broadband, but a few minutes’ walk home, and I don't."

"It's really, really weird. There are so many people who want it and I would think there would be so much business out there."

Meanwhile, councillor Kevin Peel said he lives in Manchester's Northern Quarter where he is "surrounded by businesses which can access ultra fast broadband while I struggle to stream TV content online". Mr Peel claimed this situation is "just not acceptable" in a city as large and economically important as Manchester.

The city council was actually granted funding to rollout super-fast broadband in central Manchester last year, but the move was blocked by the European Union on grounds that subsidies should not be used for a service that could be provided by a private company.

Manchester is not the only large city where some residents struggle with a low level of connectivity, as last year a study by uSwitch claimed not a single large urban area in the UK could be considered super-fast. 

The organisation found the average connection in Manchester reached 18.36 Mbps, while the figure was as low as 10.49 Mbps in Hull. Meanwhile the likes of Sheffield, Aberdeen and Norwich all had an average service slower than 15 Mbps.

Some 310 people have signed up to the Manchester city centre petition as of 10:50 today (April 7th), taking it more than halfway to its target of 500 signatures.