Telecoms regulator Ofcom has released the
results of a new study which aims to measure superfast broadband speeds and
coverage between cities.
The study showed that just like in rural
areas, "superfast broadband coverage varies wildly between major urban areas,
with Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland the best performing city for superfast
broadband coverage at 99%”.
The research took eleven cities from around
the UK to study how many premises were still using a relatively slow broadband
connection of 2 Mbit/s or less. It was found that those living in Cardiff and
Inverness were "twice as likely to be on a slower connection than those in
London or Birmingham.”
Whilst superfast networks varied between
cities, it was found that most had around 90% coverage, although the findings
were not particularly consistent across all of them. This was due to numerous
factors influencing deployment and take-up, as well as local planning.
It was also found that slower connections
tended to be more prevalent amongst those on lower incomes. This, Ofcom says,
represents another barrier to superfast broadband take-up, although in some
areas, such as the poorest areas of Manchester, it was found that superfast was
less widely deployed.
In Manchester, overall availability
of superfast was measured at around 85%, in the most income deprived area
deployment stood at just 80.6%. This was even more marked in Glasgow however,
with just 57.8% of premises having access to superfast broadband in the poorer
areas of the city.
Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer Group
Director, said: "Access to fast broadband is an important part of modern life,
and a source of economic growth and investment across the UK.
"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 findings suggest that the usage
and availability of faster broadband also vary widely between cities. We will
carry out further work in this area to help bring faster broadband to UK homes,
whether in cities or rural areas.”
More information on the finding of
the study can be found on the Ofcom