We’re all guilty of complaining about our broadband speed every now and then. But one Welsh village has by far the worst connection in the country, where residents are forced to get up at 4am to send crucial emails.
Aberech in North-West Wales officially has Britain’s slowest broadband at 2.7 Mbps, and has an even worse connection than the Mount Everest base camp.
According to research from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the village has connections speeds five times under the acceptable levels set by the government.
While network providers are doing their bit to improve speeds in rural areas, there are still hundreds of blackspots around the country. For the people living in Aberech, weak broadband is affecting their livelihoods.
One resident, Mike Kirwin runs a business providing Internet to music festivals. He said: ““It’s putting a huge stress on my business and regularly puts me at a disadvantage.
He added: “One of my neighbours gets up at 4am to do his paperwork because it’s the only time he can get usable internet.”
Another resident, Pryderi ap Rhisiart, runs a camping business. But he must regularly has to visit the local pub to do his 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.”
Unsurprisingly, the BCC have called for urgent action to tackle the UK’s broadband distribution problem. Director-general Dr Adam Marshall said: “Business communities across the UK still report that our digital infrastructure is not fit for purpose.”
He added: ‘Throughout the country, significant numbers of companies of every size and sector lack reliable internet connectivity – a basic requirement for businesses to operate efficiently in today’s world.”
He continued: “Unreliable connections stunt productivity, causing needless delays, costs and frustration.”
Perhaps residents could take inspiration from the woman who built her own 1GBPS broadband network. Self-confessed “farmer’s wife” Chris Conder’s B4RN network provides Internet for 2,300 people in her local area.
Even more impressively, it maintains a staggering 1GBPS broadband speed. To put it in perspective, that’s 35 times faster than the UK average.