Exploring the differences in broadband access speeds across Glasgow Articles uri icon



publication date

  • November 2016

start page

  • 1167

end page

  • 1178


  • 4


  • 33

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0736-5853

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-324X


  • It is widely argued that broadband is beneficial. Higher rates of broadband penetration and adoption are associated with enhanced economic growth, while for individuals accessing the Internet through a broadband connection opens up a range of opportunities to them. However, to enjoy these opportunities users need access to both an Internet connection as well as the possession of a range of skills. As not everyone has access to one or both of these, a range of digital divides have emerged within and between countries. This paper explores one aspect of the digital divides that have emerged, namely, speed. Broadband speeds vary considerably, reflecting many factors such as the technology(s) used, the number of users, the distance of the user from the telephone exchange and so forth. Rather than explore the digital divides that exist between countries, we focus on a single city: Glasgow. Using data from a variety of sources we explore broadband speeds across the city. While broadband speeds have improved across much of Glasgow, this is not true every part of the city. Average speeds vary considerably across the city, with the consequence that the ability to access opportunities online also varies. There is some evidence to suggest that those parts of the city with lower levels of deprivation enjoy higher broadband speeds than areas within Glasgow of higher deprivation levels. Our analysis also found that considerable variations exist between service providers. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • glasgow; broadband speed; digital divide; internet access