Agriculture

Growing UK rural urban broadband divide

The gap in broadband speed between urban and rural areas is widening, risking damage to businesses
Growing UK rural urban broadband divide

The gap in broadband speed between urban and rural areas is widening, risking damage to businesses and driving young people away from areas they grew up, a study has found.

The study, Two-Speed Britain: Rural Internet Use, is part of the Oxford Internet Surveys and was carried out by the Oxford Internet Institute with the RCUK Digital Economy Research Hub.

According to the research, more than one million people in Britain are excluded or struggle to get involved in normal online activities because they live in remote rural areas with no access to high-speed broadband.

According to their research, in urban areas just 5 percent of those sampled had an average broadband speed below 6.3 Mbps.

But in deep rural areas, more than half (53 percent) of people couldn’t even achieve that speed, at which researchers said an album of 10 songs would typically take about a minute to download, 200 photographs just over four minutes, and a movie about 18 minutes.

Principal investigator of the Oxford Internet Surveys, Dr Grant Blank, from the University of Oxford, said: “This is the first time we have captured data to clearly show the depth of the divide between those living in remote rural parts of Britain and the rest of the country.
 

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