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Leicester Uni beats Oxbridge…when it comes to broadband speed

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Leicester University has come top of the leader board of broadband speeds, beating high-flying Oxford and Cambridge, research reveals.

The northern England university averaged a broadband speed of 39.87Mbps, while Oxbridge recorded an average of just over 30Mbps.

Queens in Belfast came in second place with an average download speed of 36.71Mbps, while third place went to Nottingham University with 36.18Mbps.

Aberdeen – 36th in the country as a place of learning – came bottom of the broadband league with speeds of just 15.27Mbps. A gadget-heavy household of four students in Aberdeen would see speeds slashed to just 3.82Mbps when surfing all at once, meaning around a 5½ hour wait to download a Blu-Ray film.

Imperial and Swansea, both among the top five places to study computer science and IT, did not make it into the top 20 for broadband speeds.

In London, students face a higher cost of living and worse broadband speeds: Queen Mary, SOAS, Goldsmiths, Imperial and Kings are all in the bottom 15 of the broadband league table.

Ewan Taylor Gibson, broadband expert at, which compiled the research, said: “It turns out that some of our more esteemed institutions for higher education aren’t quite so high achieving when it comes to broadband speeds.

“Students need fast, reliable broadband for research, streaming lectures and submitting work on time – both at home, and on campus.”

Top broadband tips for student households:

  1. Go for fibre. If there’s one household type that’s a prime candidate for a faster fibre connection, it’s typically gadget-reliant students. Fibre deals now start at £10 per month before line rental – very affordable when split five or six ways.
  2. Find a deal that offers unlimited downloads. In multiple-occupancy student homes, laptops, smartphones, games consoles and set top boxes connected to the internet simultaneously put huge strain on your download allowance.
  3. Around the start of the autumn term, you’ll see nine-month deals, tying in with the academic year, targeted at students. The chief advantage of these is that you don’t pay for broadband during the long summer holidays. But don’t rule out 12-month deals as these can actually work out cheaper.
  4. Traffic slows your speed down. Consider researching your dissertation or streaming lectures during the day or in the small hours when your housemates and neighbours are less likely to be online slowing the broadband down. Evening is peak time for online traffic.

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