How Fast How Good is Your Broadband2?

In 2019, FEP ran its first survey on broadband speed in the Forest of Dean. Over 400 people responded giving a really useful picture of the actual situation. Today we launch the 2020 survey open to anyone who lives in the district covered by FoDDC. We are repeating the survey in order to understand whether the situation has improved and what effect the pandemic might be having on speeds and satisfaction. Responses are entirely confidential.

To take part:

  1. Please go to the Which Broadband Test page and run the test. This is best done close to your broadband hub when no one else is using it. Please note down the response time (shown in milliseconds), download (Mbps) and upload (Mbps) 
  2. Then go to the survey tool and complete the questions. Typically it takes less than 4 minutes to complete.

Broadband is Increasingly Important

Before covid-19 broadband speed was a significant issue particularly for rural areas. It is why Fastershire is so important in enhancing our network capability away from copper wire to fibre- based options to the shared cabinet or to individual premises.

After 20th March 2020 providers are due to comply with the Universal Service Obligation (USO). This means that 97% of the UK population at home should have access to superfast networks and 98% get a minimum download speed of 10Mbps and an upload of 1Mbps. If these speeds are not met you can request an upgrade from your supplier. This is one reason that suppliers now give a guaranteed speed as the basis of your contract. Even if those speeds are below the USO!

Our common responses to the pandemic are often based on access to the digital. Whether that is working remotely or by using tools like Zoom, Meet and Teams to videoconference for work and socially. BT Openreach opened up significantly more bandwidth to enable the system to cope with this during lockdown.

Last Year and This Year

Last year, the district mean average download speed across all respondents was 13.1Mbps. This compared to an overall UK average of 54.2Mbps and a rural average of 28Mbps across all types of network. The mean averages are skewed with a small number of responses with very high speeds. If fibre is excluded the UK rural average for broadband speed is 7.2Mbps; Forest 5.6Mbps. So has it got worse or better in 2020? And if worse what can be done?

#HFHG2 is the first of FEP’s surveys on broadband in 2020. Its last question asks for volunteers for future research. Later in the year we will be working with up to 100 homes to see if we can optimise their speeds and to understand more about their issues to then share tips that work.

HFHG2 is open to 14th August. But why delay, do it today! Then please share this page with all your family and friends in the Forest so we can get as many responses as possible!