Revealed: worst areas in England for gamers during lockdown

Published: 11/06/2020
  • South West bottom of the pile for broadband speeds, with five of the ten areas where gamers are most likely to disrupt gameplay
  • Cities of London and Westminster the worst area for access to superfast broadband
  • Kingston Upon Hull ranks the highest for the best place to play video games online based on average speeds and availability of superfast broadband
  • launches a new speed test tool that enables people to calculate how long it will take to stream a game, TV show or download a song

1st June 2020 (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE): New research from reveals the areas in England that are the worst for gamers, with gameplay in Central Devon the most likely to be disrupted due to poor broadband speeds.
The research analyses the average download speed (Mbps), superfast broadband availability and the percentage of households’ ability to receive decent broadband. 
Gamers based in the South West score the least points when it comes to connection speed, with five out of the top ten worst hit areas in England. With Central Devon having the dubious distinction of being the worst in the country, Torridge and West Devon, Forest of Dean, Somerton and Frome, and Tiverton and Honiton all suffer disruption from poorer broadband speeds.
Some may be surprised to see the Cities of London and Westminster ranked the 10th worst constituency for gamers overall. When it comes to access to superfast broadband, this area takes the last place out of all areas, with a quarter unable to access the very fastest connection. By comparison, in Luton North and Leicester West, superfast broadband availability is 100%.
Kingston Upon Hull is hailed as the best place for gamers, ranking top in the country for average speeds and the availability of superfast broadband. Less than 2% of the area’s households have access to decent broadband. Other cities areas that rank highly for gamers include Grimsby, Gillingham and Rainham in the South East, and Nottingham North in the East Midlands.

Top 10 - England’s worst areas for gamers

Rank Area Name Region Average Speed (MBPS) Superfast Availability Unable To Recieve Decent Broadband
10 Cities of London and Westminster London 34.41 75% 0%
9 Somerton and Frome South West 42.75 82% 10%
8 Harwich and North Essex East of England 37.06 83% 9%
7 Tiverton and Honiton South West 31.89 81% 9%
6 North Herefordshire West Midlands 35.09 80% 9%
5 Penrith and The Border North West 36.01 81% 12%
4 Ludlow West Midlands 33.09 81% 11%
3 Forest of Dean South West 31.61 79% 10%
2 Torridge and West Devon South West 34.01 81% 12%
1 Central Devon South West 34.05 77% 12%


Top 10 - England’s best areas for gamers

Rank Area Name Region Average Speed (MBPS) Superfast Availability Unable To Recieve Decent Broadband
1 Kingston upon Hull East Yorkshire and The Humber 137.44 99% 1%
2 Kingston upon Hull North Yorkshire and The Humber 132.15 100% 1%
3 Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle Yorkshire and The Humber 122.24 99% 2%
4 Crawley South East 88.40 99% 0%
5 Filton and Bradley Stoke South West 93.49 98% 1%
6 Luton North East of England 84.10 100% 0%
7 Morecambe and Lunesdale North West 87.70 99% 0%
8 Great Grimsby Yorkshire and The Humber 89.56 98% 1%
9 Stevenage East of England 86.93 99% 0%
10 Gillingham and Rainham South East 86.61 99% 0%


Holly Niblett, Head of Digital at, commented:

“Lockdown has seen a surge in the number of people relying on the internet for work and leisure. There is a wide disparity in the connection speeds and access to superfast broadband across the country, with people facing a particularly hostile environment in parts of the south west. For many, a reliable internet connection is a lifeline during a difficult time.

“Our new speed-test tool allows people to see how fast their broadband speed is and what better deals and speed is available in their area, because for many households, a fast download speed is a deal-breaker when it comes to choosing a provider. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we have seen a steep rise in the number of customers switching online to the fastest packages during isolation.” tips for improving your broadband speed

  1. Test the speed of your broadband connection
    You can run a speed test on comparethemarket’s new speed-checker tool, which enables users to check how long it will take to download a film or game in their area: You’ll be shown both your download and upload speeds.
  2. Move your router away from other devices
    Keep your router as far away as possible from other electrical equipment and devices that emit wireless signals, such as cordless phones, baby monitors and computer speakers. Try to place your router on a table or shelf rather than on the floor and keep it switched on.
  3. Turn off WiFi on devices you’re not using
    If you have multiple devices such as tablets and smartphones running in the background, it can slow down your broadband, so try switching WiFi off on these when you’re not using them. You should also avoid carrying out data-heavy tasks like HD streaming, gaming or video calls at the same time as others in your household.
  4. Give your computer a spring clean
    There are many applications on your PC that could affect your broadband speed, some without you even realising it. A few simple quick fixes include making sure your anti-virus software is up to date, making sure you’re using the latest version of your web browser, such as Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge and clearing your cache and browser history


The following table reveals the areas of England where gamers are most likely to disrupt gameplay due to bad broadband speeds.
Data taken directly from the source are in the columns titled Area name, Region, Average speed (MBPS), Superfast availability and unable to receive decent broadband.
To calculate the index we first normalised the data categories individually from 0 to 1 and then summed the results.
On this scale, for

  • Average speed – The higher index would be weighted closer to 1 - detailed in the average speed weighting column
  • Superfast availability - The higher index is weighted closer to 1 - detailed in the superfast weighting column
  • Unable to receive decent broadband – The higher index is weighted closer to 0 - detailed in the Decent broadband weighting column
    Total and rankings were determined by the above.

The data was sourced from

About was launched in 2006 and has grown rapidly over the past fourteen years to become one of the UK’s leading price comparison websites. provides customers with an easy way to make the right choice for them on a wide range of products including motor, home, life, travel and pet insurance as well as utilities and money products such as credit cards and loans. actively works with its brand partners to help provide great services to customers. and are trading names of Compare The Market Limited. Compare The Market Limited is an insurance intermediary, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference Number 778488).