Is London’s broadband just not up to speed?

London’s digital economy is being hindered by poor broadband infrastructure, according to a new index that ranks top European capital cities.


The index from Hyperoptic used Ookla’s to compare London with other cities across the continent.


The results revealed that London ranks 26th out of 33 cities for its broadband speeds with an average download speed of 26.3Mbps, more than 10Mbps slower than the European average.


Bucharest tops the table with average speeds of 81.2Mbps while the top five European cities all have speeds that are at least twice as quick as in London.


The capital has dropped down the rankings since 2009, although broadband speeds have increased significantly in that period – by 270%.


However, this was not enough to keep pace with the best performing European cities including Luxemburg, Madrid, Dublin, Sarajevo and Minsk.


Paris, Vilnius, Warsaw and Belgrade complete the top ten list of performers with those cities in that list boosting their speeds by an average of nearly 450% in the past five years.


The need for speed is recognised by both businesses and the Government, as an increasingly digital world requires an infrastructure capable of meeting demand.


Back in 2012 the Government set the target of having the fastest broadband of any major European country by 2015 but these figures suggest there is plenty more to be done.


London is recognised as being a key part of the UK’s digital economy as the capital’s technology community contributes nearly a quarter of the UK’s overall economic output.


Despite this, slow speeds are placing pressures on many companies while others are unable to perform to their full potential.


This could impact on the financial side of some of these firms, placing pressure on companies when the overall economy offers a number of growth opportunities.


For companies that are struggling, business rescue may be an option; while some firms could decrease their reliance on broadband in order to see better results.


The UK’s digital economy is growing at more than 10% a year and is forecast to be worth £225 billion by 2016 but slow broadband speeds mean the sector’s potential could be much higher.


By Phil Smith


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