Film taking too long to download? Try waiting 15 hours…

New report shows huge disparity between internet download speeds across Britain, which could explain why your favourite movies and TV shows fail to stream and are slow to download

If you live on Wheatley Road in Corringham, Essex – there’s a good chance you’re not reading this article because your internet is so slow you’ve just given up waiting for it to load and bought a newspaper by now.  


I exaggerate slightly, but according to a new report, it would take residents of the street 15.2 hours on average to download a film – enough time to watch the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the first two Hobbit films while they’re waiting. 

It’s quite a different story if you’re a resident of Loundes Road in Unstone, Derbyshire, however – where average download speeds 96 times faster allow you to get that movie from click to hard drive in a mere 9 minutes. 

The new report, commissioned by uSwitch, is based on almost 2 million internet speed tests over 6 months across the country, exposing a real postcode lottery for internet users in Britain – especially effecting those wishing to download and stream TV and movies which are very bandwidth heavy. 

Only 15% of UK homes are classified as enjoying what EU rules classify as ‘Superfast’ internet (30Mbps or higher), with the study suggesting uptake of such services has been slow so far. 

40% of British homes are apparently only receiving 5Mbps download speeds or lower, meaning it would take more than 13 minutes on average to download an episode of your favourite TV programme. 

Although slow broadband is associated primarily with rural areas, the study shows that even some urban communities, including a street in London’s affluent Hampstead suffer from super-slow internet.  Grange Gardens in NW3 is listed as the 17th slowest street for broadband in the country with just 1.19Mbps to shout about.. 

Essex is the county where residents are most likely to suffer from slow connections – with six of the top 50 slowest streets situated in the county.