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What Britain's best and worst broadband streets look like

Barry Collins
11 Mar 2015
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New survey reveals Kent street has the country's slowest broadband

The poor residents of Williamson Road in Romney Marsh, Kent, have been tarred with living in the slowest street for broadband in the country. Williamson Road residents get an average speed of only 0.54Mbits/sec, according to speed tests submitted to uSwitch, 135 times slower than the speeds recorded in Britain's fastest street.  

Judging by this 2011 photo from Google Maps (above), things look otherwise fairly peachy for the residents of the wetlands suburb - apart from the double-parking issue caused by the selfish resident lumping rocks on the grass verge. Their broadband is going nowhere fast, either: uSwitch estimates it would take residents 19 hours to download a two-hour HD film. Let's hope Williamson Road doesn't have too many Kevin Costner fans... 

The second worst street is Great Fen Road, in Soham, Cambridgeshire, which judging by its Google Maps photo, is in the backside-end of nowhere. It has a marginally faster average of 0.55Mbits/sec and a lot of clouds. 

Things are pretty grim for the residents of Styles Close in Luton, Bedfordshire, too. Not only have they got a road that was last resurfaced in 1973 and cars missing wheels littering the street, they've only got an average of 0.8Mbits/sec coming down the broadband pipes. 

At the other end of the scale, it's all gravy for the folk of Sandy Lane in Cannock, Staffordshire. Not only have they got huge detached houses and natty BMWs parked on their sweeping drives, they're also enjoying an average download speed of 72.86Mbits/sec, which means there must be fibre buried under those leafy pavements. 

They've also got bandwidth coming out of their ears in Stockfield Road in Yardley, Birmingham, where the average speed is 71.4Mbits/sec - thanks to what looks like BT fibre cabinets on the street corner. 

Once again, it appears to be quite a well-heeled area:

Britain's third fastest street, Aigburth Drive in Liverpool, is no sink estate, either, clocking up download speeds 71.2Mbits/sec. 

uSwitch describes Britain's broadband provision as a "postcode lottery", with variable speeds in many areas: Staffordshire has three of the fastest and two of the slowest streets in the country, for example. And while uSwitch's sample is self-selecting and not statistically robust, it certainly appears to help if your postcode is in one of the more desirable areas of town... 

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