The new Ookla speedtest report shows that Scotland has broadband speeds well above the UK average. Based on the data, which was gathered from more than 25 million fixed broadband tests, Scotland’s average download speed was 70.29 megabits per second (Mbps). This has increased 3.56% over last year, and is 28.6% faster than the UK average as a whole.
While England, Northern Ireland and Wales have all seen a small increase in their average speed, they are lagging behind Scotland. England currently remains in line with the country average at 50.41 Mbps, while Wales and Northern Ireland fall behind with 34.75 Mbps and 27.01 Mbps, respectively.
Which region is the fastest?
By analysing counties and administrative districts the report revealed wide disparities in average fixed broadband download speed by location. The five fastest administrative regions in the UK are all in Scotland:
- West Dunbartonshire 98.97 Mbps
- Inverclyde 97.38 Mbps
- Falkirk 89.25 Mbps
- Dundee City 89.23 Mbps
- Renfrewshire 88.39 Mbps
The fastest county in Wales, Swansea, comes in at 59.31 Mbps, while the fastest in Northern Ireland, Belfast, comes in at 38.53 Mbps.
Aberdeenshire is the slowest council area in Scotland at 16.65 Mbps, while Cornwall and Gwynedd rank as slowest in England and Wales, at 17.57 Mbps and 17.88 Mbps respectively. The five slowest administrative districts in the UK are all in Northern Ireland, which is consistent with Ofcom’s report that 7% of properties in Northern Ireland lack broadband speeds to meet the needs of a typical family.
Speed disparity is an urban-rural divide
Ookla’s figures show that fixed broadband speeds vary widely across the UK, this disparity can be seen most clearly in Northern Ireland where download and upload speeds are slowest.
Ofcom recently reported that 1.1 m homes and businesses in the UK, particularly those in rural areas, are unable to access adequate broadband speeds. 17% of premises in the UK’s rural areas are unable to receive decent broadband services, compared to just 2% in urban areas. The same Ofcom report showed that in Scotland, 2% of urban properties could not get access to decent broadband, compared with 27% in rural areas.
To the future
Figures published by Thinkbroadband, have confirmed that 95% of residential and business premises across the UK can now access broadband connections of more than 24 Mbps. This move is part of the UK Government’s plan to introduce a Universal Service Obligation, which will give people the right to request broadband speeds of 10 Mbps by 2020. However, Ookla speculates whether the promised speed will be enough for modern internet usage.
In Scotland, the Scottish government has committed £600 million in the recent budget, to the R100 programme, which pledges to give every premise in the country superfast (30Mbps) broadband by 2020.