Drive to get over internet speed hump
Research has shown that average internet speeds in Bath can vary by 20 per cent depending on the time of day.
According to comparison website uSwitch.com, the optimum time to go online is at 4am.
At that time of the morning, broadband speeds in the city average 14.36Mbps — but by 9pm, when most people want to go online, they drop to 11.39Mbps.
Research, based on more than 2.3 million consumer speed tests over the past six months, showed in some parts of the country download speeds dropped as much as 60 per cent in the evening.
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It also revealed that the difference between broadband speeds during peak and off-peak times is most significant in heavily built-up towns and cities.
Telecoms expert at uSwitch.com Julia Stent said: "This research shows the incredible strain that is placed on broadband when everyone logs on at the same time, particularly in densely populated areas. And the big rise in streaming and downloading — be that films for our tablets or games for our smartphones — means that striving to deliver consistent speeds will be a long, hard slog for broadband providers."
Meanwhile, efforts to get ultrafast broadband in Bath have been welcomed.
Conservative councillors, who have been campaigning for improved internet connections in the city, have said they look forward to an announcement on an ultrafast programme due in the spring.
Bath and North East Somerset Council's cabinet member for sustainable development, Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib Dem, Combe Down), has confirmed the authority is currently exploring options to deliver ultrafast connectivity — with speeds of 100Mbps — to the city. She has said more information would be available in the coming months.
Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Con, Lansdown), shadow cabinet member for sustainable development, said: "It's very welcome news that B&NES has promised to bring forward plans to deliver ultrafast broadband in Bath. It's crucial for Bath's economy that the council invests in this technology, which is key to attracting the new high-tech and creative industries which we want to see establish themselves in our city. At the moment there is a genuine risk that Bath will end up getting left behind its competitor cities."