Revealed: The best and worst broadband in the Lancaster and Morecambe district
As Covid-19 means many of us are working and socialising from home, we depend more than ever on a reliable internet connection.
And even as lockdown measures begin to ease, those reluctant to resume long commutes may choose to shun their office for good.
But an analysis of broadband quality in Lancaster and Morecambe shows this could be easier for some than others.
The House of Commons Library has produced estimates of average download speeds for individual areas within each parliamentary constituency across the UK.
Across Lancaster and Morecambe, the fastest area was Kellet and Lune Valley, where the average download speed was 543.7 megabits per second in May 2019, when the data was recorded.
This was almost nine times the UK average of 60.9.
At the other end of the scale, the area of Morecambe South West saw an average speed of 38.2.
It means even Morecambe South West was above regular Ofcom’s definition of “superfast” downloads, which it defines as at least 30 Mbps.
The figures reflect speeds received rather than those available, as some people may have access to faster connections than the ones they pay for.
Earlier this year, the Government announced a £5 billion investment to roll out faster broadband to the hardest-to-reach areas across the nation.
But Andrew Ferguson, editor of Think Broadband, said some people could wait until 2025 to see the improvements.
He added: “With the pandemic highlighting how key broadband is for a functioning society, the need to address those worst off broadband-wise has never been clearer.”
The House of Commons Library analysis looked at other measures, including internet availability.
In Kellet and Lune Valley, 97% of premises were capable of receiving superfast download speeds in January, whether or not they were using such a service.
Meanwhile, virtually all premises were able to receive 10 Mbps download speeds or 1 Mbps for uploads, which Ofcom deems the minimum requirement for “decent broadband”.
The Government recently wrote into law the right to request this level of service, with Ofcom estimating in December that roughly 155,000 premises across the UK could be in line to claim.
In Morecambe South West, all premises were able to get decent service, while all had access to superfast download speeds.
An Ofcom spokesman said: “More than nine in 10 UK households can now get superfast broadband, but some areas still struggle for a decent connection.
“Since March, anyone who is unable to get a decent broadband service has the legal right to request one.
“We’re also supporting investment in faster, full-fibre broadband for the UK – including making sure rural areas get better connections.”
A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said the Government is committed to bringing faster, gigabit-speed internet to the whole country – one gigabit is equal to 1,000 megabits.
He added: “We are determined to deliver on our gigabit commitment and are removing the barriers to industry accelerating broadband roll-out as well as investing £5 billion so the hardest-to-reach areas aren’t left behind.”