North West Wales

Erw Fawr in Henryd has slowest broadband speed in UK

A street in north Wales has the slowest broadband speed in the UK, according to a national survey.

Erw Fawr in Henryd, near Conwy, had an average download speed of 0.60 megabits per second (Mbps) - 30 times slower than the UK average.

The research by the uSwitch comparison site is based on almost two million speed tests run by broadband users over a six-month period.

The Welsh government said Erw Fawr could get fast broadband next year.

The Conwy street was ranked bottom in the survey with a road in Essex but two other streets in Wales also featured in a list of the 50 slowest broadband areas in the UK.

Maesceinion in Aberystwyth was ranked 12th with 1.08Mbps and Llantarnam Road in Cwmbran, Torfaen, was 13th with 1.10Mbps.

However, Pen-Y-Graig Road in Brymbo, Wrexham, was ranked 9th in the survey's list of the 10 fastest broadband speeds in the UK, with 31.91Mbps.

Erw Fawr resident, Raphael Callaghan described his broadband connection as "a joke".

A musician and singer, he said he relied on the internet to promote what he was doing and had been left well and truly in the slow lane in Conwy.

"They say the broadband speed around here begins with a minus sign," he said.

"It is absolutely ridiculous. You read about all these places getting this high speed broadband - all we want is a decent speed - that's all we want.

"If we really are the slowest, surely someone out there is going to say 'let's do something about it'. It can't be that hard in this day and age - surely."

Erw Fawr resident, Raphael Callaghan
Raphael Callaghan says broadband speeds on the street are frustrating

Marie-Louise Abretti, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, said: "There are still areas in the UK which experience broadband speeds so slow the service is negligible.

"At the same time, superfast broadband connections are becoming more widely available but, as our research suggests, these are clearly not being utilised.

"More needs to be done to increase awareness of availability and cost. Superfast broadband isn't as expensive as some users might think, with prices starting at £16 per month plus £15 for line rental."

The uSwitch research also found that only 15% of people in the UK are enjoying broadband of 30Mbps or higher - the speed classified by the European Union as "superfast".

Ofcom said superfast broadband was now available to almost three-quarters (73%) of the UK but only 9% of the population was using it.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "The good news is that Erw Fawr in Henryd, Conwy is included in our roll-out plans to receive fast fibre broadband under the Superfast Cymru programme."

Superfast Cymru, a partnership between the Welsh government and BT, is the largest of its kind in the UK, and aims to get fast internet connections to 96% of Wales by spring 2016.

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