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back to article Worst broadband notspots in the UK named and shamed

Do you want your home broadband to work at the speed advertised by your ISP? Then set your alarm and log on at 4am, according to a new survey that tested connections speeds across the UK at different times. The worst time to start streaming TV programmes is 9pm as demand for data across the country peaked - and download speeds …

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Joke

All speeds I can only dream of...

Only 12 Mbps at 9pm??? How do they cope??

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All speeds I can only dream of...

Indeed, but cue responses of "I call foul, I get less than this, the numbers must be rubbish" from a myriad of people who don't understand averages and their relation to them..

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Anonymous Coward

Indeed

All it needs is a few funny boys sitting on gigabit connections to well and truly skew the data.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All speeds I can only dream of...

Indeed, but cue responses of "I call foul, I get less than this, the numbers must be rubbish" from a myriad of people who don't understand averages and their relation to them..

It does point to some people getting fantastic speeds though.

Where I live, there are around 2000 broadband users and (apparently) the exchange cant provide more than 6meg connections. From what I can gather this is reasonably common and a significant percentage of UK users are in rural communities with worse connections.

Does this mean that there are some people with 100meg connections to balance things out?

Obviously I am just jealous and I wish I had access to the benefits of the digital revolution rather than just suffer the resulting loss in other services.

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Silver badge

Re: All speeds I can only dream of...

That's really not very helpful.

Its a bit like saying to a starving child "shut up, on average people in this country have plenty of food, haven't you noticed there's an obesity epidemic"

Large swathes of the country aren't getting a anything remotely close to these numbers and they have every right to be pissed off.

Even in a great many densely populated urban areas its not possible to get anything close to these numbers. I suspect, hence the "All speeds I can only dream of..."

Constant adverts and promotions extolling the virtues of super fast Internet don't help when you find out that plans for your area have been delayed again, and even when they do feel like bringing things closer to you, they'll cut a few quid off the cost and combine cabinets together just so they can halve the speed you're likely to get.

The fact is there is sod all most people can do to change the quality of service they are getting, short of sticking their hand so far into their pocket they can afford their own leased fibre.

As with so many case averages are a completely useless value.

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Boffin

Re: Indeed

"All it needs is a few funny boys sitting on gigabit connections to well and truly skew the data."

I'd love to see the frequency distribution on the measurements in each area. Just the upper/lower quartile would do so I can see if our 2.4Mb/s is as crap as it might be.

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Anonymous Coward

Averages

Averages are why this is pretty much useless information:

Indeed, but cue responses of "I call foul, I get less than this, the numbers must be rubbish" from a myriad of people who don't understand averages and their relation to them..

Saying X is an average speed in a poorly defined geographical area is actually close to useless for any purpose other than to justify some bizarre spending patterns for how broadband is "upgraded."

It is an unfortunate politician-stylee soundbite which says words to the effect of "Stop Whining in the UK, average broadband speed is a lightning 12 Meg" (based on a couple of ultra-fast connections skewing the data and of no use whatsoever to those people struggling on dial up speeds).

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Re: Indeed

Thats the way the great BT con works.

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Broadband Speeds

Geographically, Aberdeen and Swansea had the worst luck with the average speed in the Scottish city being only 6.08Mbps at 9pm. In Swansea city it was 6.99Mbps.

I dream of speeds like that (Cheshire) at the best of times.

Generally speaking, things like iPlayer and on-demand TV are unusable where I live as it can take four or five minutes to download every minute of video.

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Unhappy

Re: Broadband Speeds

I'd be happy with half of Aberdeen's 9AM figure here in Hampshire (1Mb/s and flakey as well).

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Re: Broadband Speeds

A lot of the streaming TV services have issues beyond your connection speed.

I'm lucky enough to have FTTC, and 38mbs into the house, but 4OD often stutters and fails to stream smoothly even in the silly "real programmer" hours.

The other night even iplayer was being moody playing live TV, yet the TV catchup app on my Nexus 7 connected to my wifi was able to stream the same channel without issue.

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Silver badge

Re: Broadband Speeds

> The other night even iplayer was being moody playing live TV

seems to depend a lot of the device playing.

Our HD Stat PVR and the BluRay player both have iPlayer functionality. The HD Sat box gets moody on iPlayer at the slightest excuse. The BluRay player seems able to cope with streaming stuff fine even when the other box it unusable. My phone can often manage even when the PC can't.

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Trollface

As a former resident of Middlesbrough...

It's safe to say the locals are too busy outdoors, fighting.

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Devil

Re: As a former resident of Middlesbrough...

Right then! Outside!

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We lived in Aberdeen City centre

That speed is bollocks, we were down to <2 Mbps at that time of night, nothing would stream at all, had nothing but buffering.

Speeds have been much better since we move out side the city, plus less people drunk and fighting outside the windows, or getting heads stuck in bins.

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Re: We lived in Aberdeen City centre

They didn't say where in this fare city. Probably in Mannofield where all the expensive houses are.

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WTF?

I only get 0.7mbps all day everyday. who cares about people who get 10mbps. My broadband is so crap i should be on benifits.

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Stats for the other cities please Register.

I can tell you from experience that Edinburgh must be on the low side as well. From about 8pm to 1am nightly bandwidth for myself goes from an average of 11Mbps to 4-6Mbps. Watching streaming movies becomes an exercise in futility.

I can now understand why Sky is offering SkyGo downloads (for paying customers) rather than their 'On Demand' only service. Such a hassle at peak times to watch streaming media.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Stats for the other cities please Register.

We've added a table of more cities - uSwitch's 20 cities ranked by the drop in on-peak to off-peak speeds, if that helps.

C.

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Re: Stats for the other cities please Register.

Not sure that speed is your key problem here, possibly more the quality of services you are using.

We have a broadband speed that peaks at around 3Mbps, but rarely have problems streaming movies from Netflix. Even things like iPlayer, YouTube and, to a lesser extent, 4oD are largely reliable.

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Silver badge

This must be

ISP dependent as some over subscribe. Contention ratios, the last time I checked were around 50:1 for domestic broadband. If most of the broadband connections to the local exchange are served by just a few ISP's then the contention ratio limits will soon be hit causing individual connections to suffer.

I would guess rather wildly that customers of BT, Sky and Virgin will suffer the most whilst users of not so well known ISP's such as Plusnet and Bethere don't notice any slowdowns at any time of the day. I have never had a problem streaming HD (1080p) content form Youtube or the BBC no matter what time. I don't use BT, Sky or Virgin and thus have no experience of their broadband services hence this is just speculation on my part.

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Thumb Up

Re: This must be

Yup. Rarely much variation on IDNet:

http://speedtest.net/result/2456085691.png

http://speedtest.net/result/2462461208.png

BeThere was also the same speed 24/7/52 for me although they seem to be having a few isses at the moment. But then I don't go for the cheapest package I can find.

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Bronze badge

Re: This must be

Funny that. I changed from my not-cheap ISP Orange, to a 15-quid per month cheapo.

My speed is now a massive 2.3Mb/sec.....all the time, while the previous frequently dropped to

below 50 Kb/sec.

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Cue the ranting

I would love it if I had X speed....

I get 0.7MB and remember the days of my Virgin cable 50MB connection. To be honest though I wouldnt swap living next to the idiots, for living in the middle of nowhere. Yes it makes iPlayer almost unusable but who cares!

Time to set your mega/pirate bay downloads for 4am lol

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Silver badge

The joys of rural existence.

By dint of bitching, a new router and an independent ISP, I get about 5-6Mbps day and night..

On my 'up to 8Mbps service'

a neighbour a further 1/2 mile away gets < 2Mbps on BT..

Why will BT not use ADSL repeaters?

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Re: The joys of rural existence.

be interested to know who/where, tied to BT for this year as on a new line, but will want to move once this contract runs out!

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Silver badge

Re: The joys of rural existence.

"Why will BT not use ADSL repeaters?"

Cost and the hassle of getting power to the repeater(s). Even FTTC infrastructure would probably end up cheaper.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The joys of rural existence.

"Cost and the hassle of getting power to the repeater(s). Even FTTC infrastructure would probably end up cheaper."

Exactly. If your running power cables up poles then you might as well stick FTTC kit up there rather than ADSL repeaters. I'd say the number of VERY long lines (above 3 miles) are actually quite low.

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Devil

Ah- Dudley

Jewel in Telewest's crown...

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Latency

... rather than speed is why my son claims it's better to go on the internet at night.

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Re: Latency

and probably the fact that he wants to knock one out so to speak

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Coat

Re: Latency

Better latent than never...

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Happy

Rock steady 18 - 19 Mbit/s

I've got a monitoring device on my line (Sam Knows box) and get a rock steady 18 - 19 Mbit/s 24 hours a day (also confirmed by occasional manual speed tests at various times). FYI its a 0.8km long line from a supposedly despised provider.

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Had some fool cold call me from TalkTalk last year saying they could give me a better BB speed. Neat trick I said, how are you going to speed that up given that the nearest BY exchange is clapped out and 2 miles away? On the plus side I no longer get BT sales people phoning asking me to switch providers, not since I had one of them trying to explain to me for 30 minutes how switching to BT would give me a better service given that it was their clapped out equipment that was responsible for the slow connection anyway.

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I'll see your Rock steady 18 - 19 Mbit/s

And raise you rock steady 105Mb/s / 5Mb/s

Love it icon but haters gonna hate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'll see your Rock steady 18 - 19 Mbit/s

Id say this is more of a pissing contest, or whos pipe is bigger than who's!

Im out then :(

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FAIL

Re: I'll see your Rock steady 18 - 19 Mbit/s

@Anonymous Coward .. whos? who's?

Do you mean, whose, poppet?

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These are slowspots NOT notspots

Having opted for an idyllic rural life style, I live in a genuine notspot: no broadband, nil, nada, zilch.

Fortunately, we get good 3G - 5 - 6 Mb/s.

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At that time of night I'm dreaming

Dreaming of 2 Mb/s plus. But I have a Panasonic intelligent HD Freeview PVR and it manages BBC iPlayer at 2Mb/s without degradation so you can squeeze a lot into relatively slow speeds provided only you are using the line.

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Anonymous Coward

I only get 2.5meg tops. And i'm half a mile away from Manchester city centre.

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Joke speeds

Welcome to South Lincolnshire, where we are lucky to get the dizzy heights of 1 Mbps

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Holmes

Backend Throughput

Pay for a premium ISP and you shouldn't experience this fluctuating throughput. Not so much anyway. AAISP gives me a stable 7.5 Mb/s all day and all night because they try and keep the backhaul capacity above that which is being used.

I could switch to SkyTalknet2 et al and save 50% on my bill, but then I may end up with 50% service degradation and that's not something I prepared to put up with. Ye' pays ya money....

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BT etc. not always a poor choice.

Funnily enough, AAISP were the one ISP who resolutely could not offer me a decent service.

Was on Zen and got a steady 3.5Mbps.

Switched to A&A and got decent speeds during the day but it dropped significantly at other times, to <0.1Mbps at the weekends with lost packets etc. Not even enough to run the Openreach speed tester to completion.

Thought AAISP were meant to be the bomb on things like this so gave them a chance to sort it, but I'm not 17 any more and have no interest in participating in midnight IRC chats with support bods so after a few frustrating months I switched to BT and got, you guessed it, decent service again.

By no means representative I'm sure, but evidence that you're not always better off away from the big names.

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Re: Backend Throughput

"Pay for a premium ISP and you shouldn't experience this fluctuating throughput."

And for the seven billionth time, that's not an option for everyone, particularly those that don't have an LLU or 21CN exchange.

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Silver badge

Re: Backend Throughput

Move somewhere that is.

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Kids today

When I were a lad we had to use Zmodem at 14.4Kbps. None of this new fangled Interweb thingy.

But we were happy!!! We're we ####!!!!!!!!!!

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Angel

Luxury!

I still remember 1200 baud...

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M7S
Bronze badge

Re: Luxury!

1200? Pah, you must have one of those US Robotics modems I've been hearing about.

Acoustic coupler's the thing to have. It were fine for my pa, and my pa's pa, and 'twill be fine for my boy when I'd done wi' it.

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Re: Luxury!

Double pah! Try using a 300 baud acoustic coupler in a phone box at the side of a busy road in order to get an important document off via Telecom Gold - first proper email service in the UK as I recall. .. (not that I do very much...)

Oh the joys of someone putting a cup down a bit hard on your desk just as you're about to finish 30 minutes 'online'.....

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Re: Luxury!

Pfft. I first had 1200/75 baud back in '87.

They didn't call it t'internet back then, nor was it based on t'protocols we use today. When I got onto t'modern internet in the '90s I considered 100bps a rare luxury!

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