Ever spend more time buffering than binge-watching Squid Game? Do your Zoom calls kind of like a stop motion? You're not alone. We calculated the best value broadband in the UK—giving you the power to check your internet provider is up to scratch.
UK broadband statistics data
Here's how we did it. We took the speed averages from every constituency from the Commons Library and gathered user-submitted broadband prices from Numbeo. Queue the number crunching. Dividing the average speed by average price delivered the average Mbps per £.
What are Mbps anyway?
It stands for 'megabits per second', which represent the speed of your internet connection—like how many miles a car could theoretically travel in an hour. A high number of Mbps is like speeding along the highway of the Internet. Fewer Mbps is more like a traffic jam.
Best Value Broadband Results
Stevenage steals the broadband crown, coming in 1st for best value broadband (5.04Mbps / £) with St Albans in 2nd (4.82 / £) and York in 3rd (4.64 / £). There’s a whopping 4.27x difference in value between Stevenage and St Austell and Newquay (1.18Mbps / £), which comes dead last.
Out of the top 10, we have an even split of towns and cities but only one large city: Birmingham in 4th position. Other than Birmingham, the top 5 biggest cities in the UK flounder when it comes to good value broadband. London lingers in 71st place (2.43Mbps / £) with Manchester in 64th (2.57Mbps / £) and Leeds in 43rd (2.85Mbps / £). Glasgow is worst of all in 77th position (2.35Mbps / £).
Full fibre is rolling out at a snail’s pace due to budget restraints, and many cities rely on technology from the 20th century—this means that with the extra traffic in cities, there are pockets bringing down the overall average. Birmingham gets great internet, however, because an estimated 94.24% of the city is gigabit-capable, according to Think Broadband. This is part of the government’s £5 billion investment in Project Gigabit, a scheme to install technology capable of up to 1 gigabit per second download speeds.
For the easiest, breeziest work from home experience, you might want to move to Hull, which boasts an incredible 161.78Mbps average (4.22x faster than Dumfries). You’ll download the next episode of You twice as fast as the poor folks in London, putting Hull in the same league as Monaco, which has the third-fastest internet in the world. Elsewhere, we have York, St Albans, Birmingham and Stevenage, all above a brisk 100Mbps.
Stuck on buffering is Dumfries in last position at 38.3Mbps. Other low contenders include Canterbury (39.6Mbps), Hastings (40Mbps), Yeovil (40.7Mbps) and Scarborough (40.9Mbps). The average speed in the UK is 73.92Mbps, so anything less than this should have you checking in with your internet provider.
|Rank||Town||Average Speed Mbps|
|3||St Albans||135.40 Mbps|
Stevenage wins again with average broadband costing £20/month, making it the best cheap broadband spot in the UK and 146.65% less expensive than Falkirk’s average £49.33/month (and measly 1.18Mbps / £). Other cheap contenders include Poole at £22.33/month, Isle of Wight at £23.33/month, Wokingham at £23.67/month and Barnsley at £23.80/month.
The average cost in the UK is £30.87/month—if you pay more than this, you should look at your other options.
|3||Isle of Wight||£22.33|
The Full Data
What does this mean?
Alright, so we aren’t expecting anyone to migrate to Hull to cut down their internet bill, but you should take note of the average speed and cost in your area. Are you paying more than your neighbours for shoddy internet? It might be time to look at our best value broadband deals and make the switch. We have bags of deals and exclusive content from providers like BT, Hyperoptic and Virgin Media!
Danny Munday, General Manager of vouchercloud, said:
"If Facebook’s rebranding to Meta is anything to go by, the online world is increasingly entwined with a “real world”, and the Internet is far from the luxury it once was. That said, we were surprised by the real disparity across the UK, with many areas lagging behind in terms of quality and cost.
As monthly expenditure creeps up, it might be time to take a closer look at your internet bill. If you haven’t switched to fast broadband or you currently pay more than average, it’s worth jumping ship for better services."