Borough's internet speeds above norm

Action is needed to ensure Wigan residents have access to internet speeds fast enough for the needs of modern households, an MP has said.

Monday, 13th March 2017, 9:58 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:23 am
Internet speeds in the borough compare favourably to other areas

The call from Makerfield representative Yvonne Fovargue comes as figures detailing the borough’s broadband connections have been released.

According to data released by the House of Common library, the nation’s average download speed is 37.8 mbps with Makerfield (48.1), Wigan (46.3) and Leigh (49.7) all comparing favourably. Each constituency also has a vast majority of residents deemed to have access to superfast broadband if they choose to.

The figures do reveal, however, that households in more rural areas continue to have worse connections than those in urban communities.

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Ms Fovargue said: “This latest report shows that more people are, or can be, connected to the communications they need, and they are consuming more data as services increasingly become part of work life and leisure time.

“However, as I know from my postbag it would be wrong to conclude that the picture is universally a rosy one across Makerfield. For some people particularly in rural areas broadband speeds are slow and mobile coverage is poor.

“Across the country more than a million UK homes are unable to get fast enough broadband for modern families’ needs, including watching streaming services such as Netflix and video-calling friends.

“Too many people are struggling for a good service and more must be done to rectify this serious problem.”

The Government classes superfast connections as those above 24mbps whereas UK regulator Ofcom defines it as those higher than 30mbps, meaning the borough’s three constituencies’ average speeds all meet superfast criteria.

In Makerfield, Worsley Mesnes ward comes out on top with speeds of 52mbps compared with Orrell which has the lowest average of 44.6.

In Wigan, Wigan West ward has the fastest speed of 49.7 with Standish propping up the table with 41.

In Leigh, residents in Lowton East enjoy the borough’s fastest average speed of 59.7 with Tyldesley the lowest at 46.1.

The Government has pledged to deliver superfast broadband connections to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of this year.