One in three UK constituencies still suffering from poor connectivity

One in three UK constituencies still suffering from poor connectivity

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With the Conservative party taking a decisive victory in the general election on December 12th, many people in the broadband industry will be looking to see how the government aims to meet its pledge of delivering gigabit-capable services throughout the UK by 2025.

This is also likely to be a key concern for many voters, as recent figures have revealed more than a third of the UK's parliamentary constituencies still do not have access to decent connectivity, either through wired broadband or mobile.

The study, conducted by consumer group Which?, revealed 236 areas suffer from patchy 4G coverage and poor broadband provisions.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, rural parts of the UK are the worst affected, with remote locations in Scotland and Wales among the most likely to face poor performance.

The worst affected constituency was said to be Na h-Eileanan an lar in the Highlands and Islands, which covers the Outer Hebrides. Only 81 per cent of residents here have access to a decent broadband connection of at least 10Mbps, while just 42 per cent can access a 4G mobile signal from all four of the UK's main operators.

Meanwhile, in Wales, the poorest performance was to be found in the Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency in the north-west of the country, where 4G coverage by all four operators is only available to 69 per cent of premises, while 91 per cent had access to a decent broadband connection.

However, it is not just in rural areas where good connectivity is lacking. Which? noted that many constituencies made up of mostly urban areas are also struggling with poor speeds, including parts of Canterbury, Macclesfield, Maidstone, Norfolk, Southampton, Surrey and York. Seaside towns such as Dover, Cleethorpes, Great Yarmouth, Scarborough and Whitby, and Totnes are also being left behind.

Caroline Normand, Which? director of advocacy, commented that residents in these locations have felt cut off for too long because of poor broadband and mobile connectivity.

"The next government must finally deliver the strategy needed to connect the whole of the UK with the comprehensive digital infrastructure that communities urgently need while ensuring that consumers have a choice of providers so that they can see real improvements," she continued.

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