Lots of distance between people out there

This is just such a shame, such a one that we should all hang our heads in it. Rural broadband is slower than urban!

Broadband speeds in rural areas are up to three times slower than those in neighbouring cities, analysis has found.

That just is such a disaster, isn’t it? Do note the near obligatory Lake Wobegon reference:

Statistics published by the county councils network show that more than two-thirds of England’s counties are below the national average download speed of 45mbit/s.

Some areas are going to be below average. We’d rather think around and about half of them in fact. Which areas are those going to be?

Well, broadband is, essentially enough, putting a pipe to peoples’ houses. This is rather easier in urban areas as the pipe has less length to pay for per house. Further, the technology itself is length dependent. The further you are from a telephone exchange then the slower the speed is going to be for one technology, ADSL. If we move up to fibre, then the length of the fibre, and the trench to put it in, rises in rural areas.

So, some grouping is going to be below average, given the basics here it’s going to be the rural areas. As is also true of electricity and sewage connections which have the same basic engineering backgrounds.

Our correct response to the statement “Rural broadband is slower than urban” is therefore “And?” Even, “What in buggery did you expect?”

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  1. Don’t know how much raw speed comparisons tell you, anyway. I know from here. For a crap service, the speed’s not that slow. The contention ratio – how many people are trying to use the service – can be astronomical in the holiday season. So even when page loads drag or fail to load at all, a speed check ( if you can manage to complete the speed check) still says the speed’s OK.

    Unless service providers have some way of prioritising bandwidth for internet speed check websites. I really wouldn’t put it past them. I wouldn’t put anything past them

    Incidentally, it’s currently 8 m/s. That’s meters per second for the pigeons carry the data packages strapped to their legs. Worse in high winds or rain but better if you remember to leave some bread on the windowsill.

  2. Yeah, I hear this a lot from people who chose to move to the country. They seem to think BT, by which they mean BT’s predominantly urban customers and shareholders, should spend the extra billions so that well-heeled folks with Highland cottages can get 1080p on Netflix while the kids watch high def YouTube at the same time.

    below the national average download speed of 45mbit/s.

    Maybe we need a bit of perspective. 45mbit/s is a bloody amazing technical achievement in a relatively short span of time, and it’ll only get better. Wasn’t very long ago we were stuck on 56k dialup modems.

    Given the vast, sprawling nature of Britain’s telephone network – which was never designed for internet in the first place – it’s pretty damn cool that most people now take always-on superfast broadband, at a trivial price, for granted.

  3. And if you really want/need superfast broadband it’s available almost everywhere – but you may have to pay for it. Possibly thousands if you live in a house at the end of a 10-mile cul-de-sac.

  4. If you want city conveniences move to the city. I choose to live out in the woods a bit so I miss out on some things like getting Chinese and pizza delivered to the house. I also pay more and get less when it comes to my internet speeds.

    On the other hand no noisy neighbors and all the other things that come with living right on top of other people.

    I am guessing that most of those people getting “slow” internet would not be willing to move to the city and give up their rural lifestyle for a faster connection.