back to article Named: Ten towns with slowest mobile broadband

Want to avoid snail pace 3G downloads? Steer clear of Milton Keynes and nine other UK towns named as Britain's mobile broadband blackspots. Travel instead to Peterborough, which boasts the fastest speed: an average of 3.86Mb/s. Poor old Milton Keynes managed just 1.73Mb/s. The numbers come from broadband price comparison site …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. stefan 5
    Thumb Down


    Try coming to a town like kings lynn. then you will find the meaning of SLOW mobile broadband. utter tosh

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      or you could try Rural suffolk, where you're lucky to get a mobile signal at all, and the ADSL maxes out at 1Mbps.


  2. Patrick O'Reilly

    That calls for a...

    That calls for Opera Turbo

  3. Pen-y-gors

    Let's not forget...

    all those towns and villages with a 3G download speed of precisely zero.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obviously not on O2

    Here in Glasgow city centre with full bars of 3G reception, my mobile "broadband" speed test results (using the iPhone app) are:

    Download 0.50 Mbps

    Upload 0.01 Mbps

    Sometimes I get slightly higher than that. Outstanding.

  5. TonyHoyle

    Not surprising

    As 3G is shared bandwidth the more people using it the slower it gets.. so in cities you'll get a lower average (with some outliers - I've had 6Mbps in some parts of Manchester).

    Most of those speeds look to be so similar as to be effectively the same (given the natural variation with people hopping on and off the network between tests). It would be interesting to see the fastest - are they rural?

    1. Marvin the Martian

      In those cities, do what I did.

      Move house to a neighbourhood full of old folks! They're all watching telly, leaving for the young'uns the information superhighway --- an empty freeway to race on, say 5mbps or similar madness.

  6. Keith Oborn

    "Luxury" (to quote Python)

    In our area, there is zero mobile bandwidth, and 512k DSL.

    Where's that? On the outskirts of Basingstoke-.

    Methinks this survey is a little optimistic.

  7. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Those figures don't look too bad

    Obviously they're averages, not worst case (which would be 0 - hopefully everyone understands why). I would also expect the sample to be somewhat self-selecting, with most individuals who are satisfied with their 3G speeds to not be on the sort of crusade that would lead to search out apps to test it.

    What would be more interesting would be an organised test - say to use your browser of choice (if you get any choice) to download a hefty web page and time it, from start to finish. Do this at a fixed time of day (lessay 17:30) every day for a month, outside every major rail terminus in the country and THEN see what the real-life speeds are like - correlated for location, network and phone.

    Personally, I'm happy to get anything over 300kBit/sec

  8. Mark Wilson

    MK Again

    No surprise really that MK tops the table. We also get lousy broadband in many parts and I am lucky if I get enough mobile signal to make a voice call.

    1. Code Monkey


      As if living in Milton Keynes wasn't bad enough to begin with.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not surprised.

      As most of the infrastructure was put in the late 60's chances are all the phone cables are probably aluminium, which is rubbish for DSL. (Has a higher resistivity than copper, and if its not properly connected, the connection, EG, but a engineer in a rush, the connection quickly degrades as Aluminium oxide forms.)

      1. Steve Evans

        Got that here in Essex too...

        Unfortunately old brittle aluminium doesn't like being disturbed by the even increasing urban sprawl either.

  9. Tom 260


    Most of those are properly cities, and they all have populations of 80k+, none of them count as towns in my book!

    Oh, and I'd be happy to get 1.73mb on my ADSL connection...

    1. AndrueC Silver badge


      You'd be happy with one point seven three millibits?

      You're easy to please then.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    How about...

    ... London?

    Tested it just a few days ago (vodafone): 1.3 Mb/s (in HUSPA!!!) download speed with all background activity disabled!

    This is the capital people, where the companies at least try...

  11. Trev 2

    Too many metal buildings in MK?

    Am wondering if the Milton Keynes problem might be the amount of concrete and reinforced steel in all the buildings surrounding pretty much anywhere you want a mobile signal?

    Ran into this problem recently when moving into a new house and waiting for BT. Away from the house we can get it, but there's a coal slag heap behind it which of course contains lots of iron ore and bang goes any chance of a decent (or sometimes any) mobile broadband signal. Tried almost every network too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ...but it's not due to all that concrete and steel. And in fact 1/5th of Milton Keynes is open access parkland so it's not the concrete jungle the urban myth makes out (that is if you decide to step out of the car, and look at the place beyond CMK.)

      There are two reasons:

      1. MK sits in a number of shallow but there none-the-less valleys, this doesn't help mobile signals on some networks but I have never had an issue (TMobile and Orange)

      2. Most of the new town was laid out with aluminium telephone cabling, not copper because it was cheaper. And aluminium is terrible.

      In theory both of these problems can be overcome.

      That said, it's a pretty inexcusable situation.

  12. Rob Daglish

    Slow? Slow?!?

    I'd be happy with the ability to make a call while I'm out, never mind use email on GPRS or EDGE. Yes, I live In the lake district, but if my mobile works 2500M up the Hochgurgl in Austria, why the hell can't it work in my front room?

  13. Alex Walsh

    Well done

    Another piece of advertising thinly disguised as market research lovely regurgitated by the press. Thought you were better :)

  14. King Edward I


    ...average 4-6Mbps in Cambridge. it's quite nice :D

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Try going 6 miles *outside* Cambridge...

      ... and watch that drop to no 3G coverage at all. Two guesses where my house is.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like