• UK cities unable to compete with foreign villages for internet speeds

  • London has broadband speeds more than five times slower as Cosoba in Romania (population 2,490)

  • Join the campaign to Fix Britain’s Internet

While Britain celebrates its recent sporting achievements, when it comes to broadband speeds some of our major cities are barely out of the starting blocks. The likes of London, Manchester and Sheffield are all being left behind with download speeds half of those of small rural villages in Romania and Poland.

Manchester, a city with a population of 2.5 million and home to a number of large UK businesses has an average download speed of 23.61 mbps. In comparison Fors in Sweden, which has a population of just 860 and has recorded speeds of 40.6 mbps.

Similarly Sheffield, one of the UK’s slowest cities in the broadband sprint, recorded download speeds slower than the provincial Flanders town of Oudenaarde in Belgium which has download speeds of almost 202 mbps. Even the 6,900 residents of the isolated village of Rani in India are faring better than many of us Brits with recorded speeds of 34.8mbps.

Our capital city doesn’t fare much better. Despite London being one of the biggest cities in the world and a hub of tech innovation, Londoners are subjected to download speeds five times slower than the rural village of Cosoba in Giurgiu, Romania, with a population of 2,490 – less than half of the capacity of the London Velodrome.

The huge disparities in broadband speeds have been brought to light by the campaign to Fix Britain’s Internet, a new initiative that’s calling for members of the public to act now to help bring Britain out of the broadband slow lane.

Since 2008 BT’s investment in Openreach, the national internet network, has been broadly flat, leaving many without fast reliable broadband that meets their needs. Deployment of high speed broadband has lagged behind other countries to the extent that only 2% of the UK has access to ultrafast pure fibre broadband, far behind the likes of Lithuania (37%) and Kazakhstan (13%)**.

Unsurprisingly, 60% of UK internet users say they’ve been let down by their internet connection in the last month and 47% of Britons say they’d think twice about moving to an area with poor broadband, signalling the social and economic consequences of the digital divide***.

Karan Chadda, Director of London based marketing consultancy Evolving Influence commented: ‘As a small consultancy, we're heavily dependent on fast, reliable broadband. We regularly send and receive lots of videos, images and other large files. When visiting clients around the country, I've often been unable to download files or can only download them very slowly when working in nearby coffee shops. It wastes time and, on occasion delays projects, which has commercial implications.. Worries about broadband quality shouldn't be a factor when scheduling meetings with clients, but it’s a weekly occurrence and something needs to change to bring Britain up to speed with the rest of the world.’ 

Broadband speeds are also having a damaging impact on rural communities, Farmer Aled Evans, based in Ruthin, North Wales said: ‘Slow and unreliable internet is a massive issue for me. Currently access to superfast broadband is almost non-existent in rural areas and painfully slow speed broadband is putting farmers such as myself at a real disadvantage. With many of us now diversifying into the food, drink and tourism industry, having a high quality internet connection is more essential than ever for new business growth.’

Recognising the need for change, the telecoms regulator Ofcom, is giving you a chance to have your say. If you want to demand better broadband for yourself, and Britain as a whole, then now is the time to tell Ofcom directly. Visit: www.fixbritainsinternet.co.uk before October 4th to have your voice heard.


Notes to Editors

League table: how British towns fare against foreign villages in the broadband speed stakes



Download Speed - Mbps

Oudenaarde, Belgium



Cosoba, Romania*



Sarmenstorf, Switzerland*



Prezemyslaw, Poland*



Fors, Sweden*



Rani, India*
















Download speeds from towns in the above table marked with an (*) are recorded speedtests provided by testmy.net. Download speeds for UK cities are taken from USwitch data released in February 2016, compiled over a six-month period.


** Comparisions of ultrafast pure fibre deployment sourced from IDATE for Fibre to the Home Council Europe, February 2016: http://www.ftthcouncil.eu/documents/Reports/2015/2015_RANKING_SLIDES.pdf

***Research conducted by Bilendi from a representative sample of 2,000 adults 26th – 27th July 2016

About the Fix Britain’s Internet campaign

Fix Britain's Internet is a campaign that aims to fight for the best possible internet for Britain's communities. The campaign was started by an industry coalition comprising Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and the Federation of Communication Services - and we're growing every day.

We represent millions of consumers and businesses who rely on Openreach, but are let down every day, struggling to get the internet speeds they need. Together, we're asking Ofcom to be brave and make bold changes to create an Openreach that delivers the broadband Britain deserves.

For more information about the campaign to Fix Britain’s Internet please contact the TalkTalk Press Office on talktalk@mhpc.com or 020 3128 6902