Slow internet speed leaves Scots islanders without Netflix or online banking

They are everyday activities which the rest of us take for granted in the digital age.

But people living in Orkney and some other Scottish islands are struggling to carry out basic activities on the internet such as watching Netflix or using online banking due to painfully slow broadband speeds.

Orkney, Shetland and Argyll and Bute have the slowest broadband speeds in the UK –with a film taking seven times as long to download in the islands as it would in the fastest regions of the country. At the other end of the scale, the study found the fastest local authority in Scotland and third fastest in the UK for broadband speeds was West Dunbartonshire.

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The report by consumer watchdog Which? revealed that six of the 15 UK local authority areas that are currently failing to reach 10 megabits per second – the UK government’s “bare minimum” connection speed – are in Scotland.

Robert the Bruce epic Outlaw King is among the Netflix titles islanders are missing out on. (Pic: Courtesy of Netflix)

It said that users in those areas might find it hard to carry out basic tasks such as online banking or to use streaming services like Netflix or BBC iPlayer due to slow internet.

West Dunbartonshire’s average internet speed of 29.6Mpbs is just ahead of Inverclyde at 26.9Mbps, Dundee, where residents enjoy speeds of 23.1Mbps, North Lanarkshire at 22Mbps and East Renfrewshire, where internet users get a typical speed of 21.4Mbps.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: “It’s incredibly frustrating that so many Scots are still struggling to get a good broadband connection when so many of us rely heavily on the internet to carry out important everyday tasks.

“The Scottish Government must now press ahead with plans to provide 100 per cent of homes with decent broadband and make sure no-one is at a disadvantage because of where they live.”

The Scottish Government has vowed to make sure all of Scotland has access to superfast broadband – of speeds greater than 30Mbps – by 2021, called the “Reaching 100 per cent” commitment.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the Scottish Government was investing £600 million to upgrade acces to superfast broadband.

He said: “Our Reaching 100 per cent programme is a plan to extend superfast broadband access to every home and business in the country and we have focussed on rural areas, where it is needed most.”