Corporate, General

Parts of Surrey cannot get broadband speeds

Internet users in parts of Surrey still cannot get broadband speeds, it has been revealed.

Connection speeds in areas of Surrey such as Ripley, Ottershaw, Tatsfield and Frensham remain on a par with the old-fashioned dial-up internet service.

In those places, some residents and businesses have reported speeds between 0.2mbps (mega bits per second) and 0.47mbps, meaning it can be impossible to download large files or use applications such as YouTube*.

That is well short of the 2mbps generally regarded as a basic broadband service and the 6.8mbps average UK speed**.

The figures come from responses to surveys being carried out to build up a picture of speeds in homes and companies as part of Surrey County Council’s aim to ensure a high-quality broadband service across the county. More than 2,000 responses have been received and surveys are still available at www.superfastsurrey.org.uk.***

However, in some areas of Surrey, including parts of Guilford and Woking, people logging on to the internet are able to get access to speeds of more than 20mbps.

That is similar to superfast broadband performance, which allows users to send and receive large amounts of data much more quickly. A music album can be downloaded within 30 seconds and a feature length movie in about five minutes.

The county council is in the process of selecting a company to provide the superfast broadband infrastructure for up to 20% of Surrey residents and businesses – around 100,000 premises – not included in BT’s current plans to provide the service nationally.

Peter Martin, Surrey County Council’s deputy leader, said: “The sound of a landline phone connecting to the internet should be firmly in the past. But some residents and businesses still have to put up with poor connectivity standards and their service running at a snail’s pace. Our goal is to put an end to this digital divide.

“We’re doing everything possible to ensure that everyone has access to high quality broadband and make sure that those in rural areas and other parts of Surrey where service is patchy are not left behind.”

Other survey findings so far include four out of 10 respondents saying they would like to work from home but are unable to because of inadequate broadband speeds and more than half of the residents and businesses (53%) saying their internet service at present is unreliable.

Ends

Notes to editors

* People living close to residents and businesses revealing slow connection speeds have reported a faster service.

** According to Ofcom this July.

*** Alternatively email superfastbbsurrey@surreycc.gov.uk for a printed version or call the contact centre on 03456 009 009 to request one.

The surveys were devised for the county council and its partners.

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