Swindon and Milton Keynes top the UK broadband league

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Swindon and Milton Keynes top the UK broadband league

Antony Savvas

Swindon and Milton Keynes are battling it out to be the UK’s broadband capital.

The latest research from analyst firm Point Topic shows that Swindon is once again top of the league for broadband towns in the UK, but it is being pushed hard by a surge from Milton Keynes. 

According to Point Topic’s analysis, at the end of 2006, 65.3% of households in Swindon had a broadband connection, up 5.5% from the end of June 2006

However, its lead now looks shaky, as Milton Keynes went from 62nd to second place in just six months. It displaced Cardiff as runner up, increasing by 15.4% to record 63.7% of households with broadband.

Cardiff, now in third place, has a 62.4% household penetration. The UK average is just under 46%.

Katja Mueller, research director at Point Topic, said Milton Keynes was a town with a high proportion of families with children, one of the fastest growing broadband demographics.

Milton Keynes initially suffered in the broadband market as it was built equipped with aluminium phone lines in the late 1960s, rather than the standard copper wires. At the time, copper was much more expensive to use.

The good news for Milton Keynes, however, is that it is now being equipped with faster fibre broadband connections.

Other local authorities in the top 10 include Epsom and Ewell, St Albans, Stevenage and Watford. 

At the other end of the table, typically with less than a third of households on broadband, are West Dunbartonshire, Oswestry, the East Riding of Yorkshire and the Isle of Wight.

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Computer Weekly's managing technology editor Cliff Saran writes on the highs and lows of the IT industry, looking at the technology trends that matter to corporate IT, and those that don't. Read what he has to say about Wi-Fi madness.

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