Depending on where you live in Cornwall can affect what the internet connection is like. The county used to be a bit of an internet desert, but things have significantly improved over the years and standard broadband, superfast broadband and ultrafast broadband are all available.
However, as Cornwall has many rural areas, not all parts have the fastest internet speeds available. This does mean that the average speed in Cornwall is slightly below average for the UK.
Latest data shows that the average download speed (in Mbps) for the South West (January 2023) was 99.8 Mbps, whilst the UK average was 111.6 Mbps.
As a few examples – Camborne and Redruth have an average speed of 80.8 Mbps; North Cornwall 78.2 Mbps; South East Cornwall 77.9 Mbps; St Austell and Newquay 72.8 Mbps; St Ives 67.2 Mbps; and Truro and Falmouth 75.6 Mbps. So as you can see, some quite significant differences in internet connection and speed across Cornwall.
Does Cornwall have good internet?
As we explained above, although Cornwall’s average broadband speed is below the UK average, there are plenty of areas which deliver excellent broadband speeds. Therefore, it is more than likely that the average is brought down by the very rural areas where access to superfast connections are not available.
If fast upload speeds and fast download speeds are important to you, then it might be worth knowing where the best and worst broadband speeds in the county are.
Does Cornwall have Fibre broadband?
It is worth saying that 95% of Cornwall now has superfast broadband speeds of 30+ Mbp. (Ofcom’s definition of “superfast” downloads is at least 30 Mbps). This is possible because of the availability of full fibre broadband.
What are the broadband speeds like?
Average broadband speeds for different parts of Cornwall do differ, but even within areas (usually defined by the parliamentary constituency) there are differences in download speeds.
When The House of Commons Library produced estimates of average download speeds for individual areas within each parliamentary constituency across the country, the constituency of South East Cornwall had an average download speed of 77.9 Mbps. Parts of Saltash, however, at the Eastern end of the area, were in fact capable of achieving speeds of up to 107 Mbps.
Likewise, Camborne and Redruth has an average download speed of 80.8 Mbps, although in some parts of Camborne the speeds approached 360 Mbps.
In terms of access to fast broadband, Torpoint has 99.7% superfast availability and 99% one gigabit availability.
On the negative side of the equation, the constituency of St Austell and Newquay had an average speed of 72.8 Mbps, but if you are in Pentire, on the Northern part of the constituency, you will be cursing your slow 8.2 Mbps connection as this is one of the worst broadband speeds in the county.
Is it worth switching broadband providers in Cornwall?
The one way to ensure you get the best solution for your broadband requirements and the speed you need is, as a first step, to compare what different internet service providers offer.
For example, if you live in Saltash you have the choice of speeds offered by different service providers of 11 Mbps for £18 a month or 362 Mbps for £25 a month.
Choosing a provider is a balance between cost and speed, and there are always broadband deals to be had so shop around. So, yes, it is worth weighing up your options and switching to get lower costs or higher speeds.
However, always bear in mind that the actual speed available will depend on where you are. All internet providers can advise you and there are online tools for you to investigate for yourself.
How can you improve your computer devices internet connection?
Just because you are getting a decent speed coming into your router it doesn’t mean your devices are receiving that speed. There are things you can do to optimise your connection and Lee Harvey Computing are happy to help, but here are a few practical steps you can take yourself.
- Check what speed your router is rated for. This is typically labeled AC####, where the four numbers represent the speed in megabits per second (Mbps). Your router should match or exceed your internet provider’s Mbps.
- When possible, use an Ethernet cable. Connecting your computer to your router or modem via an Ethernet cable will optimise your Internet connection. If you are unable to use a ethernet cable check out our blog on how to connect computer to wifi without cable for some handy tips and tricks.
- For web browsing try another browser. If you use Chrome try Firefox or Brave. This won’t make your actual connection any faster, but it will speed up your browsing. This is especially noticeable in areas with slower speeds.
- Internet speed is not solely reliant on your internet connection but can also depend on the specification of your laptop or PC. A lower spec computer will not be able to handle and process internet upload and download speeds as quickly as a higher end PC that has faster ssd drives and bigger memory. Therefore it may be time for an upgrade?
- Ask Lee Harvey Computing for advice and take advantage of his years of experience in helping businesses or home users to make the most of their internet connection – even in the areas with the worst broadband speeds.
What speed broadband do I need?
The speed of broadband required, generally depends on how many people are likely to be using the internet at any one time, and whether you need to upload or download large files.
So, if you are a household of 3-4 people, as long as nobody owns a 4K TV and streams in 4K UHD resolution, works regularly from home, or downloads games or large documents, then 30-60 Mbps should be adequate. This enables several people to be online at the same time (one watching TV, another browsing the web etc).
Do I have to have a landline to have broadband?
In a word – no – you do not have to have a landline to have broadband. Almost everyone has a mobile nowadays, and fibre internet doesn’t use a phone line (although some providers will include line rental and calls in a package with broadband).
What is Superfast Cornwall?
The ‘Superfast 3 – Inclusive Growth’ programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cornwall Council, aims to assist businesses to develop and implement a digital solution to take their business forward.
It is assisting Cornish businesses that may have missed out on support from other programmes.
If you have a problem in your business that’s holding you back and a digital solution will help solve it, you may be eligible for a grant to help towards the costs. Business Grants range between £1,000-£5,000 and cover a maximum of 80% of the costs.
If your business has a slow broadband connection (download speed is below 30Mbps), you can apply for a Broadband Grant to cover 100% of the costs of a new installation.
Cornwall may not have loads of large cities, but it is increasingly home to businesses that depend on the internet to sell their products. There are a few places where a connection to the online world might be less than you would want, but in almost all places in Cornwall your premises can receive excellent speed and broadband quality.
Lee Harvey Computing covers the whole of Cornwall and can advise you on optimising your internet connection speed. Contact us today for more information.