The Daily Telegraph

The 4am alarm needed in UK’s slowest internet area

Residents of village with a worse service than Mount Everest must rise early if they want to send an email

- By Christophe­r Hope CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPOND­ENT has a speed of more than

MOST people who get up before dawn do so to go for a jog or walk the dog, but for families in north Wales an early start is about trying to send emails and do online paperwork on Britain’s slowest broadband network.

Locals in Abererch, Gwynedd, have resorted to rising at 4am just to get an internet connection.

The small rural village has been identified as having Britain’s worst broadband, slower than that at Mount Everest base camp.

The area topped the list for having the most sluggish download speed of all UK council wards, being five times under acceptable levels set by the Government. Residents in Abererch said the slow speeds were damaging their businesses.

Mike Kirwin, who runs his own business bringing internet connection­s to music festivals, said: “It’s putting a huge stress on my business, and regularly puts me at a disadvanta­ge.

“One of my neighbours gets up at 4am to do his paperwork because it’s the only time he can get usable internet.”

Pryderi ap Rhisiart, who runs an upmarket camping business, has even had to make late-night visits to the pub just to work. He said: “We have to keep our website up-to-date and take bookings through it, and it has been so bad I had to go Wetherspoo­ns just to get a connection.”

The broadband figures, revealed by the House of Commons, show seven of the top 10 areas for the worst speeds in the UK are in Wales.

Abererch was recorded as having a speed of 2Mbps (Megabits per second) – far below the lowest acceptable download speed set by the Government of 10Mbps. Base camp at Mount Everest 2Mbps.

Liz Saville Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnyd­d, said the “glacial pace” of the internet meant rural householde­rs were suffering disproport­ionately.

Over half of householde­rs in her constituen­cy get broadband speeds under the government minimum.

She said: “These figures serve to reaffirm the disproport­ionate divide between those areas which are able to access superfast broadband and those rural communitie­s struggling to achieve the Government’s own baseline download speed.”

Separately, the British Chambers of Commerce has found rural small businesses are twice as likely to have poor connection­s as those in towns or cities.

Matt Hancock, the digital economy minister, said: “The Government’s rollout of superfast broadband is reaching thousands more businesses and homes every week, and we are introducin­g automatic compensati­on for customers who are not getting the reliable service they are promised.”

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