Miserden, the UK village with worse internet than Mount Everest – The Guardian

Name: Miserden, Gloucestershire.

Age: Old enough to be mentioned in the Domesday Book – which was completed in 1086 – under its former name, Greenhampstead.

Appearance: The living embodiment of nominative determinism.

I can’t remember what nominative determinism is. Let me Google that. Hold up a second. Before you Google anything, do you live in Miserden?

I do, yes. Then don’t bother Googling anything. Walk to a library and look it up instead. It’ll be so much quicker, I promise.

But the nearest library is four miles away. It’ll take me 90 minutes to walk there. Listen to me. It’ll still be quicker.

Why’s that? Because Miserden has officially the UK’s stingiest broadband download speeds, that’s why. Tests have shown that the local population endures an average speed of 1.3Mbps. One especially unlucky resident there even recorded a speed of 0.12Mbps.

Is that slow? Given that the average speed in the UK is 22.8Mbps, it’s incredibly slow. It would take you about 11 hours to download a film. That’s literally almost twice as long as it would take on Mount Everest.

That doesn’t seem fair. It’s not. Although Miserden is the worst, there are several of these rural blackspots around the country. The risk is that everyone will eventually move out of these areas, because they won’t be able to email their family or watch that YouTube video of the sneezing panda.

Oi, spoilers! I’ve been trying to download that video for the past three hours! Have you got to the bit where the panda looks as if it’s about to sneeze?

No. See what a mess this is? Most of the country takes reliable, high-speed internet for granted, and basic neglect like this risks turning some of our prettiest villages into ghost towns.

It’s OK. We persevere. Wait a minute, are you reading this online?

I am, yes. When are you reading this?

Well, I started loading the page the second it was published, so it’s now October 2018. Oh, wow, you’re from the future. Say hello to President Trump for me!

Do say: “Access to the internet is a fundamental human right.”

Don’t say: “How am I going to get all my cat gifs now? Go outside and look at a cat? Yuck.”


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