As part of our coverage of the Audit Scotland report we published a map showing the availability of fibre and superfast broadband across Scotland, and felt that a closer look at the speeds in Highlands (IV postcode area) would help people to understand that while the fibre roll-outs are making a big difference, the difference between the have and have-nots is pretty wide.

Mean Download Speeds for IV Postcodes

Median Download Speeds in IV Postcodes


Broadband Speeds in Highlands Q4/2014
Postcode Area Average Download (Mean) Average Upload (Mean)
IV12 Nairn 23.2 Mbps 4.4 Mbps
IV15 Dingwall 18.1 Mbps 4.5 Mbps
IV17 Alness 17.9 Mbps 4.4 Mbps
IV7 Maryburgh 16 Mbps 3.3 Mbps
IV2 Inverness 15.7 Mbps 2.9 Mbps
IV3 Inverness 15.4 Mbps 4.1 Mbps
IV36 Kinloss 12.5 Mbps 1.7 Mbps
IV30 Elgin 12.4 Mbps 2.4 Mbps
IV1 North Kessock 12.2 Mbps 4.6 Mbps
IV31 Lossiemouth 9.8 Mbps 1.6 Mbps
IV16 Evanton 9.6 Mbps 2 Mbps
IV40 Dornie 7.3 Mbps 0.5 Mbps
IV32 Fochabers 7 Mbps 1 Mbps
IV18 Invergordon 6.3 Mbps 0.6 Mbps
IV6 Muir of Ord 6.1 Mbps 0.6 Mbps
IV22 Loch Maree 5.9 Mbps 0.2 Mbps
IV5 Kirkhill 5.2 Mbps 0.3 Mbps
IV19 Tain 4.9 Mbps 0.5 Mbps
IV10 Rosemarkie 4.8 Mbps 0.3 Mbps
IV63 Drumnadrochit 4.8 Mbps 0.3 Mbps
IV25 Dornoch 4.6 Mbps 0.3 Mbps
IV4 Beauly 4 Mbps 0.3 Mbps
IV23 Loch Fannich 3.6 Mbps 0.3 Mbps
IV27 Durness to Lairg 3.6 Mbps 0.3 Mbps
IV55 Dunvegan 2.9 Mbps 0.3 Mbps
IV51 Portree 2.6 Mbps 0.3 Mbps
IV9 Avoch 2.6 Mbps 0.3 Mbps
IV20 Portmahomack 2 Mbps 0.3 Mbps

The area names are a rough approximation to make it easier for those not from the area to get an idea of where the postcode area actually is. There is almost a West Coast / East Coast Divide as a lot of the fibre roll-out has been in the Inverness area so far, hopefully as 2015 progresses more areas will start to see the availability of faster options and as take-up increases we should see an improvement in the average speeds.

We should highlight that these figures are observed results from speed tests people have carried out at on our speed test rather than a modelled result which many regional speed test results can be.

The Digital Scotland target of 85% by March 2016 with access to a fibre based broadband is clearly not going to help everyone, and the follow on project running into 2017 aiming to push coverage to 95% will make a larger difference to the more rural areas. We are hopeful that the initial project will at least bring fibre based broadband to the main settlement in each postcode area and while far from perfect this should bring about a large change in the speeds available. So remember the next time we talk about regional and national speeds that they are median and mean speeds and the actual situation for people can vary greatly from 1st generation IPStream Max (up to 8 Mbps) only areas, to some with ADSL2+ via WBC or LLU networks through to those with access to the GEA-FTTC services. If the promises of good 4G coverage for the UK actually happen we will see effect in our speed analysis.

5 Responses

  1. martin on 28 Feb 2015

    why do the speeds in table not match the graph ?

  2. andrew on 28 Feb 2015

    My bad – from the library of images I mis-labelled and uploaded the median speed image which had the wrong title on it.

    I’ve uploaded the correct mean speed chart, and have re-labelled the median.

    The reason some postcodes have such a large gap between median and mean will be the rate of take-up of faster services once available.

    Thanks for saying something.

  3. James Pirie on 06 Mar 2015

    Living in the North West Corner of Scotland I am disappointed in the fact that a Fibre Cable is coming to within 11 miles of my community and then turning North. IN this way it completely bypasses a fairly major settlement. So, it appears that settlements are not the target for B.T. They prefer yto be able to point at Geographic areas and say…Look, we have a cable covering all of that area….pity it has no people in it :)
    Broadband for the Sheep and Deer??

  4. Viv on 11 Mar 2015

    Faster internet connections are going to make a big difference to film and media production companies in these areas. The demand for high definition videos means file sizes are getting larger so faster upload speeds will be important.

    This blog mentions that Sweden’s Stokab fibre network has download and upload speeds of 1Gbps for £15 per month. This is quite a contrast to UK.

  5. R M Crorie on 15 Aug 2015

    I know that the article’s closing comments were meant to be general, but…

    “If the promises of good 4G coverage for the UK actually happen we will see effect [sic] in our speed analysis.”

    Remember, the coverage figure is “of the population”, not “of the geographic area”. Most of Skye has no mobile coverage at all, what does exist is 2G only – there is no 3G or 4G whatsoever. Have a look at Skye on and you will get the general idea!