everal U.K. villages have Internet speeds slower than the base camp at Mount Everest, recent figures suggest.
The villages of Ashwell in Hertfordshire, Miserden in Gloucestershire, Brent Knoll in Somerset and Ulverston and Gilsland in Cumbria all recorded speeds below 2Mbps in tests recorded by householders for consumer comparison site Cable.co.uk.
According to Cable.co.uk, these speeds are slower than the 2Mbps average internet speed found on the Himalayan mountain post. For comparison, the average speed in London is 25 Mbps, while the highest speeds were registered by residents of Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire—77.17Mbps.
One resident of Miserden reported a “staggeringly low” speed of 0.12Mbps, which would take almost five days to download an HD version of the Bond film Spectre .
“While the number of U.K. households on the right side of the ‘digital divide’ is increasing, thanks to the continuing roll-out of superfast broadband, those left stranded are finding themselves further and further behind—to the detriment of both themselves and their local economies,” said Dan Howdle, Cable.co.uk’s telecoms expert.
“It’s not all about whether or not you can stream the latest Bond movie. Digital black holes, unless addressed, will suffer steady economic decline as homes become less desirable, and businesses can no longer sustain themselves without an online presence.”
Howdle said that if this digital divide was not addressed by the U.K. government, areas with poor Internet speeds risk becoming ghost towns.
A spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said residents should check whether they are eligible for a subsidised satellite connection offering basic broadband.
He said: “This scheme offers immediate assistance to those in the most remote areas with the slowest speeds and is all part of our transformation of the U.K.’s digital landscape.”