Borders has one of the ‘slowest roads’ for internet speed

Residents in Halkburn, just north of Galashiels, have the dubious honour of living on one of the UK’s slowest roads for internet speeds new research shows.

The price comparison site uSwitch.com carried out speed tests across 280,000 locations between 1st October 2017 and 30th September 2018 in order to compile a list of the fastest and slowest roads in the UK.

The average speed in the UK was found to be 46.2Mbps, yet Halkburn Road in Galashiels made it in to the top 20 slowest roads, with an average download speed of a miserly 0.466Mbps. At this speed, it would take residents in Galashiels 30 hours to download a film on Netflix, compared to 18 minutes based on average speeds.

In order to feature in the speed test tables, a road needed to have at least 10 residential properties conducting speed tests, meaning many rural areas won’t have been included.

The research lays bare the ‘digital divide’ that exists across the UK. An hour up the road from Halkburn, residents in Livingston enjoy speeds of up to 164Mbps, the third fastest internet in the UK.

John Lamont MP said: “We already know that the Scottish Borders has some of the slowest average broadband speeds in the UK, but this research really highlights the extent of the problem.

“For the Borders to feature in the worst 20 roads in the whole of the UK is both embarrassing and concerning. Broadband speeds like this are next to useless in this day and age and as residents in the Borders are often paying a premium, it is grossly unfair.

“The Universal Service Obligation, which will be coming in to force this year and next, will give everyone a legal right to request a decent broadband connection. This USO cannot come fast enough for residents and businesses in the Scottish Borders.”