Friday, April 25, 2014
A Norfolk village street has been listed among the UK’s slowest broadband locations – but its claim to be the county’s worst internet “not spot” is being contested by other disconnected communities.
Garvestone, near Dereham, has the 10th “slowest street” in the country, according to the latest consumer speed test data collected by uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service.
According to the research, homes on Dereham Road, near Chancel Lane, in the village have an average connection speed of 1.03Mbps (megabits per second), 17 times slower than the national average.
The research is based on 1.8million consumer speed tests run by broadband users over a six-month period.
After the EDP published the story online, we were contacted by several internet users whose broadband experience was similarly sluggish – or even slower.
Harry Harrison commented online, saying: “I live in Oulton, near Aylsham and we’ve had to cancel our broadband service as we were getting roughly 512kb at most. I can’t understand why we still have to live with such poor connection speeds in Norfolk.”
Lucieloo12 added: “I live in Wortwell near Harleston and I have had non-existent broadband for around three weeks – ongoing issues since January leading me to use all my data on my phone as my wifi hasn’t been working. We have now cancelled and had an engineer out today and broadband is still running slow!”
Among the readers who contacted us by email was Kevin Blogg, who said: “Here in Dereham Road, Gressenhall, we enjoy (if that is the right word) broadband speeds of 0.56Mbps.”
Paul Wickett, from Queens Hills in Costessey, Norwich, said: “I live in one of the parts that hasn’t been upgraded to fibre optic and our speeds are so low that we hardly even get 1MB.
“And it looks like we’re not going to upgraded until a review in 2015 which is appalling because it is going to leave us in the Stone Age for another year and a half. I use the internet a lot and just watching a video or downloading a file takes a long time. This isn’t on, because one half of the estate had fibre optic speeds yet there’s still a lot of us without it.”
Mr Wickett sent in a copy of a recent online broadband speed test to prove his point.
Julie Brown, from Plumstead, also sent us a copy of her speed test, which registered a speed of 1Mbps.
Following an EDP-backed campaign to prove the county’s demand for better broadband, Norfolk County Council is in the process of installing super-fast internet connections to thousands of homes, in partnership with BT.
The Better Broadband for Norfolk (BBfN) programme aims to bring superfast broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps to more than 80pc of homes and businesses by the end of 2015 and for all premises to have a usable minimum of 2Mbps.
A council spokesman said: “More than 40,000 homes and businesses in Norfolk now receive high speed broadband services as a result of BBfN.
“Many more areas will be added to the growing list of towns and villages in which services are available over the next few months.”
In the latest batch announced earlier this month, parts of Berney Arms, Burgh Castle, Deopham, Haddiscoe, Halvergate, Little Ellingham, Morley St Botolph, Moulton St Mary, Rockland All Saints, St Olaves, Southwood, Wickhampton and Wicklewood can now get better broadband.
By the end of September, better broadband is set to be available in parts of Banningham, Beeston, Cawston, Dersingham, Fakenham, Framlingham Earl, Frettenham, Gimingham, Heacham, Horstead, Hunstanton, Knapton, Lessingham, Marsham, Mileham, Poringland, Sedgeford, Snettisham, Spixworth, Stoke Holy Cross, Upwell, Watlington, West Dereham and Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen.
For more information, see www.betterbroadbandnorfolk.co.uk.