Where are the sub-2Mbps users? And which city has the highest take-up of fat pipes? Ofcom takes a look...
Getting a handle on broadband speeds just got easier: telecoms regulator Ofcom has published an interactive map of the UK showing broadband data for each local authority.
Two-thirds, 68 per cent, of UK premises have a fixed broadband connection, according to Ofcom, and the average maximum speed is 7.5Mbps, excluding superfast broadband lines. The regulator said it has not included superfast lines in the report due to low take-up of the services but will look to include superfast in future reports as take-up increases.
Excluding those on superfast services, under a fifth (14 per cent) of the nation's fixed-line broadband users are currently receiving broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps - a speed that is below the government's universal service commitment (USC) for broadband. The colour-coded map above shows that some of the slowest broadband speeds occur in magenta-coloured parts of Northern Ireland, Wales, the Highlands and Cumbria.
The regulator notes that some of these sub-2Mbps users do have options to improve their broadband speed, by changing their in-home wiring, for example, or switching to a higher speed broadband service.
Unsurprisingly, rural regions tend to have lower broadband speeds than the average, the report found, along with a greater proportion of users receiving speeds under 2Mbps. Ofcom said this is down to long copper telephone lines reducing broadband speeds and sparse population discouraging new superfast broadband investment.
Here, the map shows that the percentage of broadband users in the Highlands of Scotland who get speeds of less than 2Mbps is almost a fifth, 17.2 per cent.
The city with the highest take-up of fixed broadband services is Brighton and Hove, with an 80 per cent take-up rate, according to the report.
Edinburgh, meanwhile, has the fastest average maximum speed, 10.1Mbps, followed by Bristol with 9.9Mbps. These two cities also have the lowest percentage of people receiving less than 2Mbps at just 4.5 per cent.
Northern Ireland is the UK region with the largest proportion of broadband users on under 2Mbps - with more than a fifth, 23 per cent, in the broadband slow lane. However, Ofcom said it expects the situation to change in the coming months as more users in the region choose to upgrade to newly available superfast broadband services.
Northern Ireland now has the greatest availability of superfast broadband - 97 per cent coverage - as the map above shows, following a £48m public-private partnership between BT and the region's Department of Enterprise, using development funding from Europe.
The UK region with the lowest superfast broadband availability is Wales, with coverage extending to less than a third, 31 per cent, of the region.
Parts of South Wales are bucking the regional trend, including the cities of Cardiff, where 89 per cent of broadband users have access to next-generation services, and Swansea, which has 68 per cent availability.
The map is part of an Ofcom report on UK fixed-line broadband speeds, with the regulator gearing up to produce a full report on the state of the nation's pipes later this year.