Scotland affected by worst broadband speeds in UK

Royal Troon Golf Club in South Ayrshire. The county has the lowest usage BBC iPlayer in the UK, according to research - a sign of poor broadband speeds. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA

Royal Troon Golf Club in South Ayrshire. The county has the lowest usage BBC iPlayer in the UK, according to research - a sign of poor broadband speeds. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA

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INTERNET users in Scotland must make do with poorer quality broadband speeds than elsewhere in the UK, research by one of the country’s leading universities has found.

Semi-rural areas such as South Ayrshire, Stirlingshire, the Highlands and Aberdeenshire are among the 10 worst regions for internet connections.

King’s College London examined data from 1.9 billion BBC iPlayer sessions to reveal national usage patterns, allowing it to map areas of low streaming levels with those affected by low quality broadband.

Monthly sessions per capita were calculated by dividing the average monthly number of sessions and the

average monthly number of unique users in the region.

Lead researcher Dr Nishanth Sastry said: “With technological advancements, it is likely that more services important to daily life will move online, yet there is a significant proportion of the population with inadequate broadband connections who won’t be able access such services.

“The Government has initiated funding schemes for improving rural broadband access as part of the National Broadband Strategy, so steps are being taken to tackle the issue, but these results highlight how there is more to do to ensure universal quality.”

READ MORE: Small firms hampered by slow broadband speeds

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) last month called on the UK Government to “address the oversight” that sees 5 per cent of the UK – including large parts of Scotland – set to miss out on the UK Government’s pledge to roll out faster broadband across the country by 2018.

Key economic areas such as Aberdeenshire are currently being blacklisted from the UK Broadband Delivery programme, according to RICS.

A survey of more than 100 small businesses north of the border in January found the average employee wastes 15 minutes every day because of poor broadband speeds.

A separate study in 2015 found that Corrie Road in Kinlochleven had the slowest internet speed in Scotland - an average download speed of 0.985 megabytes per second (MBPS), while McKinnon Drive in Mayfield recorded 1.1222 MBPS.

The Scottish Government has said it is committed to tackling the digital divide across the country. It aims to deliver “world class connectivity” in Scotland by 2020 through a series of infrastructure projects.

Upgrades delivered in partnership with local authorities and the commercial sector.

Along with the UK Government, it is funding the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project which installs fibre infrastructure in areas where private companies have chosen not to develop.

READ MORE: What areas of Scotland have the worst broadband speeds?