Local news for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets

It’s official – broadband speeds in Wapping suck!

By on July 5, 2017 in Broadband, Infrastructure

A map by the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) at University College London shows the abysmal state of broadband speeds in Tower Hamlets, especially Wapping. Our neighbours in Rotherhithe also have some of the worst broadband in the entire country.

Wapping and Rotherhithe in a nasty deep shade of purple

Clicking over to CDRC map of broadband speeds in Wapping E1W shows Wapping in a nasty deep shade of purple which means E1W is in the lowest speed category of under 5mbps – and as many residents know quite a few of us are lucky to get anywhere need 5mps.

Data is from Ofcom in 2016. Classifications are an average across the local area, rather than for individual houses, therefore the colour coding on a building is not necessarily indicative of that building.

The cartographic wonder was created Oliver O’Brien, who used average residential download speeds from regulator Ofcom. You can read his entire blog post here. 

Why so bad?

The main areas in Wapping that do have good connectivity speeds are in and around the new buildings at 21 Wapping Lane and London Dock. Which is nice if you are one of the many overseas buyers who use our housing as currency, but damn all use if you are a struggling local business next to the Thames.

No profit

Wapping being a broadband blackhole is due to a combination of factors. One is that BT saw no point in putting in the necessary infrastructure because it would not return a profit, simple as that.

Another reason is because of the complacency of the previous Council administration. LW has been researching the broadband issue for some years now, including the possibility of putting our own infrastructure in (seriously – a nice big cable along the canal) and discovered numerous interesting facts.

No interest

One of these is that Lutfur Rahman’s Tower Hamlets First administration had no talks whatsoever with BT or any other broadband communications supplier during their time in power. None.

Without any pressure from the borough council it was easy for BT to ignore Tower Hamlets. OpenReach has now been split off from it’s bone idle parent BT and so might – might – be slightly more eager to help us out.

The irony of this situation is that much of the ultra high speed communications cables that connect the City of London to the west and  Canary Wharf to the east run underneath Wapping through sewers and various other dark channels.

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