East Lothian download speeds less than half those in Edinburgh

East Lothian has among the lowest download speeds in Scotland, according to a new interactive map of broadband provision across the UK.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 7:00 am
East Lothian SNP MP Kenny MacAskill says poor broadband connectivity makes it difficult for people and businesses to operate as they want Pic: Steven Scott Taylor.

And Kenny MacAskill, SNP MP for the county, says it’s not good enough.

The map and dashboard, published by the House of Commons Library, shows East Lothian has an average download speed of 44.4 megabits per second (Mbps) compared with the Scottish average of 70.4 Mbps and the UK average of 72.9 Mbps. Speeds in Musselburgh got up to 65.1 Mbps, but many areas were much lower – just 35.1 Mbps in Cockenzie and Port Seton, 36.1 in Dunbar and 37.1 in Haddington.

The figures compare with speeds as high as 123.4 Mbps in parts of Edinburgh.

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Mr MacAskill said: “East Lothian is hardly a remote part of Scotland – it has the A1, the East Coast mainline and the National Grid running through it, it’s at the heart of Scottish connectivity except in broadband.

"Yet, as the coronavirus crisis has shown, this is now as essential as any of the other forms of infrastructure such as rail, road and power grids. It’s just not god enough.

"The UK government has to improve the ability of East Lothian to operate. People not just in rural villages but in big towns, including the county town, simply aren’t able to carry out their business as they should be able to, so it’s affecting us all socially and economically.

"There are local companies who offer booster links but that doesn’t work for everybody.

"When places like Edinburgh and Musselburgh can be supplied there is no reason why it shouldn’t be getting rolled out to the other towns in East Lothian as well as making it easier for the rural communities to access.

“Whether it’s competition or simply BT improving their service, change there must be.”

Midlothian also has broadband speeds well below the norm with an average for the county of 55 Mbps and the slowest in Penicuik East at 34.3 Mbps.

In Edinburgh, the figures were mostly well above the average but ranged from 123.4 Mbps in Broomhouse and Bankhead to just 43.3 in the Old Town and Princes Street and as low as 39 in Queensferry.

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