The Edinburgh properties where broadband is a trickle rather than a stream

The Edinburgh properties where broadband is a trickle rather than a stream

Advertising for ultrafast broadband conjures images of unlimited streaming. But for many premises in Edinburgh city centre, actual speeds can be little more than a trickle. In this analysis, we shine a light on some typical addresses in the heart of Scotland’s capital and highlight the gap between the rhetoric and reality of fibre provision – and what it means for households and businesses which depend on decent connectivity for their livelihoods.

Situated in a hollow below Edinburgh Castle, Grassmarket is a historic meeting place in the Old Town and one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. It is dominated by pubs and restaurants, including a family-run eatery famous for its colourful recipes. This long-established restaurant is always busy, but staff sometimes find it a struggle to connect their wireless card machines when taking payment, which can be a hassle if customers aren’t carrying cash. Ofcom maintains that ultrafast broadband is available, but experience suggests otherwise . On a standard connection, this address can only muster 11mbps download and 1mbps upload, according to the regulator’s website.

A short walk to the east is the George IV Bridge, an elevated street connecting the South Side to the Old Town. The bridge is home to some of the city’s most important public buildings, plenty of pubs and restaurants and some residential properties. Residents include a personal trainer and his young family who live in a basement flat. Due to poor connectivity, he struggles to deliver his classes online and his children can’t stream their favourite TV shows. Again, Ofcom maintains that ultrafast broadband is available, but in reality this address also appears to be stuck in the slow lane with a standard 12mbps download and 1mbps upload.

In the New Town, Queen Street is a one-sided street with handsome townhouses enjoying spectacular views over private gardens towards the Firth of Forth. Residents here really feel they have arrived. But for one successful family, the dream lifestyle is being hampered by poor connectivity, limiting their ability to work from home. Ofcom confirms that ultrafast broadband is unavailable at the address; the only option for this professional household is a standard package with slow speeds of just 17mbps download and 1mbps upload.

Atholl Place is a busy street in the West End, a sought-after village where Georgian architecture meets the modern headquarters of financial services institutions. The address is extremely well served by public transport links, less so by digital connectivity. This is problematic for one young upwardly mobile resident who needs a fast, reliable service to be able to work from home and enjoy gaming and entertainment services during downtime. According to Ofcom, ultrafast broadband is unavailable but superfast is, offering 80mbps download and 20mbps upload. While these speeds might be fast enough for some people, they aren’t suitable for others.

These are just four addresses in Edinburgh, very different in their own way but each struggling with poor connectivity. In reality, there are many more: Ofcom estimates that nearly 7,500 premises in the city are unable to get 30mbps broadband. This is considered to be the minimum viable speed for cloud-based services such as video conferencing. Without this utility, it becomes increasingly difficult for households and businesses to take part in the digital world and make the most of the opportunities on offer.

Our team members have been speaking with businesses and residents in the Old and New Towns and hearing first-hand the challenges they face with their broadband connections. While many providers claim to offer superfast or ultrafast in the impacted areas, we know from experience the reality can be very different from the rhetoric. Like any historic town or city, Edinburgh has a broad range of buildings from old to new, each presenting their own unique challenges with connectivity.

At WeLink Communications UK, we understand these challenges and have the unique technology to overcome them, bringing lightning-fast speeds to premises just like the ones above with Britain’s first major wireless gigabit service. You can check if we can connect you to our service by visiting our website and using the postcode checker. If you would like to find out more, or sign up as a case study for our service, just email