When you’re travelling abroad, there’s nothing more frustrating than struggling to get a Wifi connection inside the airport. According to a new study, it’s not just you or your phone – airport broadband is actually getting slower in the capital.
Thinkbroadband first visited five major airports in the London area back in September 2015, before returning recently to see if the Wifi signal had changed. At each airport they spent around an hour carrying out tests in multiple locations with a range of devices such as laptops and smartphones.
They found that Stansted was by far the fastest airport in 2015, with an average speed of 8.1 Mbps. More than a year later it’s still got the quickest connection, but the speed has now fallen to a less impressive 6.4Mbps.
London City Airport came second, but here Wifi speed had also dropped since 2015, falling from 4.5 mbps to 2.7 Mbps on average. Meanwhile, plummeting from 4.5 Mbps to just 0.9Mbps, Luton had the most dramatic shift in broadband quickness.
In fact, the only airport that didn’t experience a change was Heathrow, which maintained a steady speed of 1 Mbps.
The slowest Wifi of all was discovered to be the service Gatwick offers. Despite being the second busiest airport in the country, Gatwick could only supply a speed of 0.4 Mbps (formerly 0.5 Mbps).
It is worth noting that these Wifi signals aren’t the only places you can get a connection at each of the respective airports. Numerous other facilities are available, such as restaurants and bars that were not tested in this study.
Aside from their regular Wifi, Heathrow Airport have a faster 3Mbps service, but it’s only available if you sign up to the Heathrow Rewards programme or login using Twitter
According to Thinkbroadband, airports rely on Wifi data to analyse movement throughout their terminals and use it to target advertising. But with speeds so slow, questions must be raised as to how effective this can be.
Their co-founder Seb Lahtinen said in a statement: “I wouldn’t say that any of these speeds were good speeds. Generally speaking they are disappointing. What matters more to people who are flying is they want to download a TV show or film before a flight that they can watch on board the plane.”
He added: “Having fast Wifi is important from that aspect. It should be a basic part of the airport experience.”