Superfast internet promised after Essex village is named in worst 50 places in UK for broadband speed

PUBLISHED: 10:42 18 May 2015 | UPDATED: 10:42 18 May 2015

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Elmdon and Chrishall - two of the slowest places for Broadband in the UK have been promised an upgrade after being shamed in a national survey.

After being highlighted in report by the website uSwitch.com, in which Essex appeared six times, Essex County Council has pledged to take action.

Ickleton Road, Elmdon in Saffron Walden was highlighted as one of the worst places for the internet in the country.

Ward councillor for the area, Malcolm Ingham told the Saffron Walden Reporter: “Speeds on Ickleton Road fall well below half a megabyte per second. People can’t watch iPlayer and to download a film takes hours. “Farmers in this area can’t access on line information and that is how the Government disseminates information these days. At Chrishall School, they can’t send attachments on emails.”

Cllr Ingham said the solution to the problem had stalled so far because BT and Essex County Council each accused each other of failing to communicate.

However, the deputy leader of Essex County Council, Cllr Kevin Bentley, who is the Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Waste and Recycling, said Ickleton Road would be upgraded within a year.

He said: “Ickleton Road, in Saffron Walden, is in the Superfast Essex plan to receive a fibre broadband upgrade (and potential to access superfast download speeds of 24Mbps and above) between October 2015 and March 2016.

He added: “Chrishall School has been identified as in a hard to reach area, which is making the speed upgrade of the schools network difficult. However it has been put forward as a priority area for potential inclusion in the next phase of the Superfast Essex rollout. We are working towards publishing the Phase 2 rollout plan towards the end of May.”

Among other places named and shamed in Essex are Wheatley Road in Corringham, Stanford-le-Hope, said to have an average speed of 1.15 Mbps. At that rate, it would take 23 minutes to download one music album. Wheatley Road shares its lowest speed in the UK status with Erw Fawr in Henryd, Conwy, Wales.

The other slow areas listed are Princes Avenue, Maylandsea, and two roads in Clackton, Dedham Avenue and Holland Park.

INFORMATION:For more details, see the Superfast Essex website www.superfastessex.org.

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