Norwich in bottom 10 for broadband speeds

Norwich was found to have an average speed of 19.43MBps over a six month period, in a study by compa

Norwich was found to have an average speed of 19.43MBps over a six month period, in a study by comparison site uSwitch. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's rural broadband struggles have been well documented but now a report has shone a light on slow speeds in the city.

Norwich has been ranked seventh in a table of cities with the slowest broadband speeds, suggesting it could be left behind in technological terms.

The city was found to have an average speed of 19.43MBps over a six month period, in a study by comparison site uSwitch.

The government has promised to bring superfast broadband, which is speeds of 24MBps or more, to 95pc of households by next year. While statistics say 90pc of homes should already have such speeds the data, collected by broadband comparison site uSwitch, shows that often these speeds are not reached in practice.

Norfolk Chamber of Commerce's Nova Fairbank said it was no surprise to see Norwich rank so low.

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She said: 'The pace of change and the increasing need for fast reliable connectivity of broadband is a key business issue - as every organisation needs to communicate with their customers.

'At present there are some areas in Norwich and across Norfolk that have excellent broadband, but the reality is that there many more areas that don't - particularly in the more rural locations.

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'For Norfolk businesses to compete on a level playing field, both nationally and overseas, they need to have access to a reliable, superfast broadband service.'

She added that unless businesses or households were willing to pay it was often

Last month regulatory body Ofcom recommended changes to how BT and Openreach, a state-backed subsidiary company which provides broadband infrastructure for most internet providers, which would see it become a distinct company with its own directors. There were calls for the regulator to go further after a select committee report said BT had made strategic decisions which put its interests ahead of those of Openreach customers.

A campaign group, backed by Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone, called Fix Britain's Internet is lobbying Ofcom to improve the Openreach network.

A spokesman for BT said: 'BT has made high-speed fibre broadband available across the city of Norwich.

'BT's own commercial upgrades on the three Norwich exchanges areas combined with our partnership work with Norfolk County Council means that around 70,000 Norwich homes and businesses have access to the technology.

'The independent web site Thinkbroadband indicates that 98.9 per cent of Norwich homes and businesses have access to superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps or above.

'Broadband speeds can be affected by a number of factors, if anyone is not receiving the speeds they expect, they should speak to their service provider.'

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