Broadband speed mapped for BBC Look East research

Image caption,
Fast broadband speeds are a problem in East Anglia

BBC Look East is calling for people in the East of England to find out their home broadband speed, as part of the TV programme's week-long special.

It is estimated only 60% of households in the region have access to high speed broadband.

Look East's business reporter Richard Bond said that the figure was unlikely to grow much in the next five years.

Home broadband users can take part by plotting their speed onto an interactive map.

The results of the research will then be shown on BBC One during Look East's broadband week, which runs from 21 to 25 February 2011.

"Fibre optic networks, the key to a fast service, are only available to people in and around the major towns and cities," said Mr Bond.

"Broadband speeds in rural areas are slow because they depend on copper telephone exchanges.

"Although BT is rolling out its fibre optic network, this is unlikely to make much of a difference to most rural communities over the next five years," he added.

Speed test

Broadband users can test their upload speed on BBC News' Technology website.

As broadband speeds on the same connection can fluctuate, it is recommended that people take the test several times and make a note of the highest speed.

Other speed-testing websites could return different results, so it is recommended for this research that third-party sites are avoided.

Once a figure is obtained, people can then plot their results on the BBC Look East map hosted on SurveyMapper.

By entering their postcode and highest speed, users will then be able to see the results on a heat map.

"Investment by the internet giants will continue to focus on the big towns, where most customers live," said Mr Bond.

"The main hope for villages is that alternatives to fibre optic networks, such as wireless technology, will become more available," he added.

The survey makes no claim to being scientifically or statistically accurate.

The results reflected on the heat map are intended to be broadly indicative and should not be taken as a definitive indicator of average broadband upload speeds in a given area.

If you have any queries or comments, or have a broadband related story you would like to share with BBC Look East, send them an e-mail.

BBC Look East's broadband week runs from 21 to 25 February 2011, at 1830 GMT on BBC One in the East.

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