Which? Names Scotland’s Worst Areas for Broadband

Which? Scotland Broadband

Consumers in Orkney receive speeds of just 3 Mbps according to research conducted by Which?

Some of the UK’s worst areas for broadband connectivity are located in Scotland, according to research conducted by consumer group Which?

The study investigated broadband speeds in local authority areas across Scotland, Wales and England, and found that four areas in particular struggled to provide even basic broadband services.

Consumers in Orkney receive speeds of just 3 Mbps, while in Shetland households struggle with just 6.7Mbps.

Argyll and Bute residents can access speeds of up to 7Mbps and in Moray, speeds stand at just over 7.1Mbps. Broadband speeds in these four areas constitute some of the worst in the UK.

Residents in the Highlands local authority area and the Borders do not have access to speeds over 10Mbps, while in Aberdeenshire (10.1Mbps), Perth and Kinross (10.1Mbps) and Na h-Eilean Siar (11.5Mbps) speeds continue to inhibit day-to-day activities for residents.

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Which? said that internet users in some of these areas may struggle to carry out basic online tasks, such as accessing online banking or streaming video content online.

Streaming services such as Netflix recommend a minimum speed of 3Mbps for standard quality streaming. However, high definition quality requires a basic speed of 5Mbps.

Similarly, BBC iPlayer programmes stream at speeds between 1.5Mbps and 5Mbps depending on the definition quality chosen by viewers.

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Scotland’s fastest local authority, Which? found, was West Dunbartonshire with an average speed of 29.6Mbps. This makes the local authority the third-fastest in the UK.

Internet users in Orkney would need to wait seven times longer than their counterparts in West Dunbartonshire to download a film.

Inverclyde takes the mantel of Scotland’s second-fastest local authority with speeds of 26.9Mbps, while Dundee City (23.1Mbps), North Lanarkshire (22Mbps) and East Renfrewshire (21.4Mbps) all fair strongly.

The UK Government has pledged to ensure a bare minimum connection speed of 10Mbps across the country by 2020. However, based on Which? analysis, residents in 15 local authorities could be failing to access these speeds.

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Similar schemes in Scotland aim to provide 100% of homes with a minimum of 30Mbps by 2021.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of Home Products and Services, said: “It’s incredibly frustrating that so many Scots are still struggling to get a good broadband connection when so many of us rely heavily on the internet to carry out important everyday tasks.

“The Scottish Government must now press ahead with plans to provide 100% of the homes in Scotland with a decent broadband connection and make sure that no one is at a disadvantage because of where they live.”

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