Some urban residents 'still putting up with very slow broadband' header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

People living in some of the UK's largest cities are having to get by with slow and unreliable broadband connections.

This is according to new research from Ofcom, which has revealed the quality of internet services varies widely in major urban areas.

For example, people living in Cardiff and Inverness are twice as likely to have a slow connection than those in London and Birmingham. Meanwhile, a third of Glasgow residents do not have access to super-fast technology, while close to 100 per cent of those in Northern Ireland's largest cities do.

Ofcom found connectivity tends to be worst in deprived areas. In Belfast, 5.9 per cent of broadband services in poorer areas were below two Mbps, which is more than double the figure (2.2 per cent) for the city's wealthy regions.

Meanwhile, in Manchester super-fast availability is only 80.6 per cent in deprived areas, compared to 86 per cent for the city as a whole. In Glasgow, the figure drops to just 57.8 per cent in poorer regions, while the city's overall average is 67 per cent.

Claudio Pollack, Ofcom's consumer group director, stated: "We know from previous research that rural areas often lack fast broadband coverage, something the government is helping to address with public funding.

"Today’s (June 17th) findings suggest that the usage and availability of faster broadband also vary widely between cities."

She added that having access to fast broadband has become a very important part of everyday life and provides a source of economic growth and investment.

Ofcom's research is not the first to highlight the problem of slow broadband in major urban areas, as last year uSwitch revealed there can be huge variations in connectivity between locations in the same city. 

In Birmingham, it found there was an 89 per cent difference in average speeds between two postcode regions that were just two miles apart. Glasgow, Bristol and Northampton all had a similar level of discrepancy between different areas.