Sheffield in broadband slow lane

Sheffield. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sheffield. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Sheffield is among the worst cities in the UK for slow broadband speeds, it has been revealed.

Research from the USwitch puts Sheffield in the bottom five cities in the country when it comes to internet connections.

It is 38th out of 42 town and cities in the UK, with download speeds almost half of those in the best-performing places - Middlesbrough, Belfast and Brighton.

Sheffield’s average download speed between August 2015 and February this year was 18.36 Megabits per second, compared to 34.46 Mbps in top-performer Middlesbrough.

The figures have been highlighted by the Fix Britain’s Internet campaign as Ofcom open a public consultation on broadband speeds.

Research from Fix Britain’s Internet suggests 56 per cent of the population complained they were unable to perform simple online tasks such as working from home, streaming films, chatting on Skype, or making purchases due to a poor internet connection.

A spokesman said: “A quarter said the frustration caused by slow internet is comparable to public transport delays and one in seven believe it induces the same level of stress as being on a long-haul flight next to screaming children.”

The Fix Britain’s Internet campaign was started by an industry coalition made up of Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and the Federation of Communication Services.

Regulator Ofcom is currently consulting on major reform of Openreach, the network division of BT which is the UK’s national internet network.

The plans include Openreach becoming a distinct company to BT; greater choice of broadband networks and better broadband and mobile coverage for people and businesses across the country.

Sharon White, Ofcom chief executive, said: “We’re pressing ahead with the biggest shake-up of telecoms in a decade, to make sure the market is delivering the best possible services for people and business across the UK.”