Search This Blog

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Cumbria Broadband Slowspots

We have mapped the identified slowspots in Cumbria from data which appears to have come originally via BDUK. This map shows all those places where properties cannot receive 2Mbps or higher. We do not believe this map is complete and are asking the help of Cumbrian residents and businesses to make sure the full picture is understood, and publicly available.

This blog post can be read at

The full Cumbrian broadband slowspot map is available here.

Zoom in, and if there is no circle near to your house or business premises, or within your postcode area, and a test shows that you receive under 2Mbps, please complete the following form and we will add your postcode to the map.

If you know of others nearby who suffer slow broadband, please help them to add their postcode too and tell others about this map, wherever they are in Cumbria, and the press, the radio stations, blogs, twitter etc.

(Due to some discrepancies with how Google maps renders postcodes, we think some of the postcodes are slightly misplaced on some browsers. We are working on this).

Should this data be available in the public domain for every county? We believe so. Then, use the people who can actually run the speedtests in their houses on their equipment (with whatever limitations that has) to pin themselves to the map to get a far truer picture of broadband in the UK. Ditto for mobile coverage.

UPDATE: BBC are announcing a similar crowdsourced exercise for national mobile coverage tomorrow. Hopefully the data will this time be made publicly available and stay on the website forever.


Somerset said...

Down here, 3.3km and 5M, so why are there so many places close to exchanges with less than 2M?

PhilT said...

I looked at two places I am familiar with (Grasmere and Ambleside) where both marked locations should be easily capable of maximum sync speed from their exchange less than 1km away. They are however marked up as slow spots getting less than 2M.

This may mean they are on a legacy 0.5 or 1M product, or they may have household wiring or other technical problems, or they may be using a cheap and oversubscribed ISP.

How does one weed out from a speedtest result what the underlying problem is and hence what action is required ?

chris said...

If everyone in notspots put their blob on the map there would be nothing left of the map, it would just be blobs. Why haven't BDUK mapped the notspots? Why are so many houses out in the rural areas without blobs? Is the government determined to ignore the rural people in their quest for 'superfast' which nobody in cities seems remotely interested in?

Somerset said...

Why are there some <2M close to exchanges?

PhilT said...

Notspot surveys always need some data hygiene tests, especially if they are speedtest only based.

As Somerset notes there are markers on places that would without doubt be capable of getting over 5M.

What if the user is on a 1M fixed service ? or hasn't filtered their Sky box ? Or has an RWIN value of 6,000 impeding download rate ?

Tends to discredit the map.

chris said...

that's the million dollar question Phil. I have two houses near me, one (after several engineer visits and big bills) can now get 1.4 meg down and .34 up and using a good ISP.
The house next door to them despite the best efforts of the ISP can get nothing, despite engineers from top level of BT and rewiring the entry point and removing ALL phone extensions. It is so hity/missy, such a marathon for so many rural folk to get an acceptable service. It shouldn't have to be so hard. Its ok for someone like you to try to troubleshoot, all I would do is the obvious stuff and then call someone like you in, but most folk won't have access to someone who knows how to fix it. So they sack it off and stay analogue. Also some people fairly close to exchanges are still on aluminium or faulty copper, or lines that go to the far end of an estate before they get back to their house. So if they have reported low speeds it 'should' show on maps. Its a statistic after all. ;) The action required will be to get a new connection to places. The question is, do they lay more expensive copper, or do they move to fibre which is cheaper to deploy and cheaper to run? or do they just keep patching it all up? At what point will the decision be made to stop pratting about with copper? I guess the answer to that is in our own hands. If we JFDI ourselves and get some fibre networks built we can get a competitive market going?

Somerset said...

Why didn't Ofcom just draw some 4km? circles round each exchange and see what's left?

SurreyHills said...

Many may find the Kitz website an invaluable source of information. There are many ways of tackling the poor broadband problem which ISPs are not usually very enthusiastic to publish. My suggestions are:-

1. Enter your data here for a guess at possible speeds.

2. Obtain your modem's statistics from here.

3. If you have a BT wholesale or retail service check the line noise with the 17070 option 2 quiet line test.

4. Check and improve your home wiring as described here and in associated pages.

5. Check broadband speeds from


and the BT speed tester if you have a BT wholesale or retail service


ENSURE YOU REPEAT THESE TESTS AT DIFFERING TIMES OF THE DAY to establish if you have a (usually cheaper) heavily contended service.

If you have difficulties post an enquiry on the Kitz forum.

SurreyHills said...

Sorry I left out the second part of item 2

Enter your downstream attenuation in here and record the results for comparison with your speeds.

(Also the final sentence should be numbered 6)

chris said...

I used Kitz to troubleshoot many connections for friends. Mainly elderly folk. Considering how vital internet access is for some people, it seems strange why we have to do all this for something we pay a lot of money for doesn't it? I wonder how other utilities manage to get their services to the people without the people having to spend all their spare time fiddling with the taps. Its a bit ridiculous to expect non techie folk to do this level of work. But agree, if you are determined to get to the bottom of the problem that kitz is the best place to start to help yourself. Then you can spend the next 10 years of your life campaigning to try to convince government that such bad connections exist. They seem to think everyone has access to broadband.
Which makes you wonder why Kitz and all the forums even exist doesn't it? digitalbritainmyarse.