Survey reveals below average broadband speedsBy Laura Herbert
May 08, 2012
A broadband survey in Finchampstead has revealed two postcode areas with particularly slow speeds.
Finchampstead man Michael Noak has carried out the survey after download speeds were proving a barrier to businesses and people trying to work from home.
So far, 159 people have taken part in the survey and findings reveal the area as a whole has below average broadband speeds, but it is worse in postcodes RG40 3xx and RG40 4xx.
Mr Noak, member of Wokingham Chamber of Commerce Council, said: “I divided my results into two samples by download speed – ‘Slow’ is postcodes RG40 3xx and RG40 4xx, ‘rest’ is the remainder of the returns.
“We all use the internet in similar ways but what can be done is rather different with far fewer people in ‘slow’ being able to make video calls, use YouTube or iPlayer and this is very clearly linked to the lower download speeds.
“I think there are more business users in ‘rest’ possibly because it is more practical to run a business with a higher speed line.”
Mr Noak continued: “I stress the sample sizes are small, but the message appears clear – speed clearly affects what can be done and this affects the value of the broadband to the user and also the service provider.
“If you cannot run high speed services, you will not pay higher usage fees, nor will you subscribe to services like Netflix that need them and this depresses the revenue that will be generated.”
Upgrades to the Eversley exchange are due to be rolled out from June 30.
Finchampstead MP Dr Phillip Lee said: “I have written letters and met with BT in Westminster. It is a pretty slow-moving operation it seems.
“I have been pushing it with the minister responsible and I’m trying to get hold of senior BT people.”
He continued: “There are some people without broadband period, let alone slow broadband, so the idea of fast broadband is a distant hope.
“Broadband and mobile phone coverage is a very big issue in Finchampstead.
“People are increasingly working from home, taking work home with them or trying to watch television online and they can’t do it.”
A spokeswoman for BT said: “Our ultimate aim is to get everybody on fast broadband. We will be looking at reaching areas and improving the service. It is the start of a project that is going on for a number of years.”
To take part in the survey go to www.noakconsulting.co.uk