Fast broadband: best ‒ and worst ‒ areas for broadband speeds

You’ll be suffering from buffering if you live in Truro or Perth.

Broadband has become an essential part of modern life. Having to go without a decent connection, whether it’s for streaming TV, gaming or simply working from home, has moved from being a bit of an irritant to an all-out disaster.

The trouble is, there can be enormous regional variations in the speeds we enjoy.

Little wonder then that broadband speed has not only become a big consideration when it comes to finding a new house, it can even have an impact on the resulting price of a property, with a study from Housesimple this year claiming that properties on streets suffering from ‘ultra-low’ speeds are on average 24% lower than elsewhere.

So which areas are suffering from the least impressive download speeds?

Rubbish broadband? Search for a faster (and cheaper) deal with Broadband Genie

The worst areas for broadband speeds

Price comparison site Broadband Choices has crunched the numbers and worked out the best ‒ and worst ‒ postcode areas when it comes to internet connections.

If you live in one of these towns your speeds will be the absolute pits.

Postcode area

Average download speed (Mbit/s)

Truro

23

Perth

24

Llandrindod Wells

25

Lerwick

26

Torquay

27

Galashiels

27

Lancaster

28

Dumfries

28

Aberdeen

29

Colchester

30

Outer Hebrides

30

Taunton

30

Dundee

30

Norwich

30

 

It perhaps isn’t that surprising to see plenty of rural areas in this list. If you’re living in the Outer Hebrides, then patchy broadband isn’t going to come as a huge shock to you.

But there are some areas that you might not expect to see on such a list, like Colchester, Norwich and Torquay. These are big, developed towns and so you would expect them to be able to be comfortable handing a bit of Netflix.

Evidently this isn’t always the case.

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The best areas for broadband speeds

At the other end of the scale, there are plenty of towns with far more impressive broadband speeds on offer.

Here are the postcode areas that Broadband Choices has picked out as delivering the most consistently speedy downloads.

Postcode area

Average download speed (Mbit/s)

Hull

87

Swindon

84

Cleveland

75

Guildford

72

Nottingham

69

Watford

65

Sutton

65

Twickenham

63

Luton

63

Edinburgh

63

 
Again, this list contains a few surprises. It would be easy to expect London to be a haven of great broadband speeds given the infrastructure in the city, but it’s actually Hull that takes top spot, and by quite a distance too. 

The speeds on offer in Swindon are notably faster than you might have predicted compared to other major areas.

Rubbish broadband? Search for a faster (and cheaper) deal with Broadband Genie

What are my broadband options?

Lists like these are useful in casting list on just how wide the division is in typical speeds on offer, but they aren’t particularly helpful if you live in Truro and have no intention of upping sticks and moving somewhere with better broadband.

After all, there are more important things in life than how quickly you can upload your holiday snaps onto Facebook.

Nonetheless, if you are in an area with naff speeds, it’s important to explore your options to see what you can do to give them a helping hand.

These can include relatively small measures like moving the location of your router, to more substantial efforts like investing in a new router rather than the one supplied by your broadband provider.

Adjusting the broadband channel can also make a difference.

For more, check out our guide on how to boost the Wi-Fi speed and signal in your home.

I’m walking away

Finally, it’s worth remembering that Ofcom rules mean that providers should offer you a minimum guaranteed speed for your connection. 

If they aren’t hitting those speeds, then contact them so that they can work out what’s going wrong.

If the problem is on their end, and they don’t put it right within 30 days, then you can walk away and sign up with a rival provider without being charged any exit fees.

Compare Sky broadband and TV deals: could you save by bundling?

Don't overpay for your broadband, fast or slow

If you haven't switched broadband in a couple of years, there's every chance you're being ripped off.

Why? Because recent research highlighted how broadband firms are charging existing customers the best part of £200 a year more for the identical service being offered to new customers.

Admittedly, that figure should fall from next year as new rules come into play forcing broadband providers to stop ripping off long-term customers, but you'll almost certainly still get a better deal by shopping around when your contract end. 

So even if you're happy with your service and speed, you should still take the time to research cheap broadband deals

*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.

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