Ofcom research released today examined 11 UK cities, and found wide variations in broadband  take-up and coverage.  Some people living in urban areas are still putting up with very low broadband speeds. Lower broadband availability and speeds are often associated with rural areas, but the the new study aimed to ascertain whether cities had similar problems.

The results showed fast broadband coverage does in fact vary between urban areas. Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland  is the best performing city for superfast broadband availability at 99%, while people in Cardiff and Inverness were twice as likely to be on a slower connection than those in London or Birmingham. Almost everyone in Northern Ireland’s largest cities had access to superfast broadband, in Glasgow one-in-three people did not.

Many factors may influence the take-up and coverage of faster broadband, including the cost of deployment, the quality of historic infrastructure and local planning rules. Future Ofcom work will study socio-economic and demographic factors which affect take-up to understand the characteristics of consumers in cities most or least likely to adopt communications services and  these findings will be published later in the year, including an assessment of any possible policy implications.

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