A Highlands street has the slowest broadband in Scotland, a new survey has revealed.
Sluggish Aultachruine in Glenshiel, Lochalsh is 134 times slower than the country’s fastest street, Cairn Wynd, Inverurie, where average speeds reached 276.4Mbps over the past year.
The research by USwitch means that it would take residents of Aultachruine almost seven hours to download a two-hour HD film and two-and-a-half hours to download 45-minute TV show in HD. By contrast, people of Cairn Wynd would take just three minutes and six seconds to downoad the same film, or a minute and nine seconds for the show.
Sandy Hamilton Place in Inverurie also has high speed internet, measuring in at 253Mbps.
The research is based on the results of the nearly 400,000 speed tests that were recorded across the UK as locked-down households become ever more reliant on home broadband.
The difference in speeds - Residents of Aultachruine would take almost seven hours to download a two-hour high definition film. - In contrast, those living at Cairn Wynd, could download the film in just three minutes and six seconds.
Despite the slow speeds, locals have managed to make the situation work.
Finlay Macdonald, owner of Chocolates of Glenshiel, said the slow broadband speeds are the only downside of operating in the area he loves.
He said: “It has hugely impacted our role as a business mainly when it comes to the role of website editing. It is such a high demand on broadband and it takes 10 times as long as it should.
“I don’t think we would be here if we weren’t so passionate about the area, the produce that it has or about creating jobs, but it is that passion that keeps us here.
“We manage to make it work but at least half our sales are online. It is just not as efficient or as profitable as if we were in a central location.
“Enhanced infrastructure would certainly make life easier for us.”
Solution is coming for slow web speeds
Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes insisted that slow web speeds in the Highlands will soon be a thing of the past.
She said: “I understand that the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme is completing work in the area, which means that Aultachruine will get ‘fibre to the premises’ within the next fortnight if not before.
“As it’s right by the A87 trunk road, residents will likely have access to a 4G signal and it may be that’s what households have been using instead of traditional broadband.
“DSSB and the R100 initiative involve areas reserved to the UK Government, but the Scottish Government have had to step in and make significant investment. Last week in their Spending Review the Tories ditched their pledge to roll out superfast internet to every home by 2025.
“Moving forward with the R100 programme is critical to supporting people to obtain the digital connectivity that they require to enable them to work from home, given the big increase that we have seen in the numbers of people who have been doing so in recent months.”
Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett said some residents in the Inverurie area may be “astonished” by the results as he receives frequent complaints about broadband speeds.
Mr Burnett said: “In Meikle Wartle near Inverurie, a constituent told me their speed had dropped by 40% since restrictions were introduced which is disgraceful.
“The roll-out of the Scottish Government’s R100 high-speed broadband programme continues to be non-existent in Aberdeenshire yet it has started to be rolled out in central and southern parts of Scotland.
“At a time when more people are running businesses and working from home, pushing fast speeds outside of the central belt should be a priority.
“It’s vital Aberdeenshire doesn’t lag behind, particularly rural areas which have been pushed to the side when it comes to connectivity.”
Scottish Government Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Our £600 million Reaching 100% (R100) programme will ensure that every home and business in Scotland can access a minimum of superfast broadband speed services by the end of 2021.
“While work is already underway in both the Central and South lot areas delivered through our R100 contracts, the £384 million contract for the North of Scotland was subject to a legal challenge putting contract signature on hold until the matter was resolved.
“Now that the case has been dismissed we are on track to have this contract signed by the end of this year and the majority of the build is expected as full fibre.
“Meanwhile, after great fanfare when first announced by the prime minister upon taking office, the UK Government’s own £5 billion commitment on the roll out of universal gigabit broadband infrastructure has already been watered down in terms of both coverage and timing and we are engaging with UK Ministers on the detail of the timing and extent of funding from that budget that will be committed by UK Ministers to address coverage in Scotland.”
Where are the fastest and slowest speeds to be found across the UK?
The UK’s slowest broadband measured in at a measly 0.12Mbps in Queens Road, Weybridge in Surrey — a staggering 5,330 times slower than the UK’s fastest street, Dale Lane in Appleton, Cheshire, where average speeds reached 639.67Mbps.
The gulf between the fastest and slowest speeds has increased in the last year, with 2019 rates differing by 830 times, with experts believing the nation’s digital divide is growing with the rollout of full-fibre broadband (FTTP) bringing ultrafast speeds to parts of the country.
Across the UK the number of broadband users enjoying faster speeds is growing with 54% accessing speeds in excess of 30mbps, up from 22% five years ago.
|Rank||Street Name and Location||Average download speed (Mbps)||Superfast broadband available?||Ultrafast broadband available?|
|1||Aultachruine, Glenshiel, Kyle||2.06||No||No|
|2||Popple Burn Park, Ednam, Kelso||2.07||No||No|
|3||Strathaven, East Kilbride||2.21||Some||No|
|4||Katherine Street, Airdrie||2.47||Yes||Yes|
|5||Isle Of Colonsay, Scotland||3.19||No||No|
|9||Grampian Road, Stirling||4.66||Some||Yes|
|10||Antonine Road, Bearsden, Glasgow||5.02||Yes||Yes|
In contrast, Scotland’s fastest speeds are found in:
|Rank||Street Name and Location||Average download speed (Mbps)|
|1||Cairn Wynd, Inverurie||276.40|
|2||Sandy Hamilton Place, Inverurie||253.17|
|3||Darwin Street, Livingston||173.71|
|4||Bowbridge Crescent, Edinburgh||149.83|
|5||Bohun Court, Stirling||131.99|
|6||Ochilmount, Bannockburn, Stirling||129.53|
|7||Inverlair Drive, Glasgow||101.82|
|8||Bracara Road, Inverness||99.97|
|9||Townhill Road, Hamilton||90.19|
|10||Aberfoyle Road, Greenock||82.68|