Ancient Town has broadband speed to match

WINCHELSEA has the slowest broadband internet speed in the UK according to newly released figures.

Broadband limps along at the snail’s pace of 1.1 Mbps making downloading and looking at websites a tortuous task for residents.

Winchelsea is not alone - a third of homes in the UK have broadband speeds well below the national average, according to research from price comparison site uSwitch. But it is the slowest by far with only Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, in Scotland coming close at - 1.2Mbps.

Winchelsea councillor Richard Comotto said: “I know we’re supposed to be an ancient town but this is ridiculous.

“I have been doing a broadband speed test in Winchelsea to support our case to East Sussex County Council for faster broadband. ESCC has committed to connecting all towns and villages in the county to superfast broadband and has asked for data.

“I asked a number of households at various locations across Winchelsea to measure and record their broadband speeds over a number of days.

“Our average so far is 1.5Mbps, but the average is skewed by a couple of high speeds and our slowest is 0.53Mbps. In addition, many respondents report that the speeds slow down when it’s raining!

“I should add that uSwitch is in fact talking about the TN36 postcode. Winchelsea was the name of the old District Electoral ward broadly covered by TN36 (now Eastern Rother).

In the past, Winchelsea has been identified as the car crime capital of the UK by an online insurance company, despite having no car thefts, because they looked at car insurance claims in TN36, which was labelled Winchelsea.

However, that just means the problem of slow broadband is a somewhat wider problem around here and I hope ESCC will give some priority to this area.”

The government wants to see super-fast broadband as the gold standard in most UK homes, and has pledged to make the UK the fastest broadband nation in Europe by 2015. By that time, it also promises to make sure that all homes have speeds of at least 2Mbps.

“Britain might be riding the wave of a super-fast broadband revolution, but for 49% who get less than the national average broadband speed, the wave isn’t causing so much a splash as a ripple,” said Julia Stent, director of telecoms at uSwitch.

The government has provided £530m to help local councils fill in the UK’s blackspots.

Councils will have to put some of their own money towards the costs.