Which UK Cities Have the Best Mobile and Broadband Connections?

Digital infrastructure is vital for any modern, thriving economy. While you may be struggling with your Wi-Fi signal at home, when it comes to work, being locked out of the internet for too long can have huge ramifications.

UK Cities with the Best Mobile and Broadband Connections

The problem is that not all locations in the UK have the coverage they need. A new study by Go Compare shows where the best hot spots are and which cities make sense if you want a digital infrastructure that works for you and your business.

The research separates our digital infrastructure into overall connectivity, by population size, mobile and broadband coverage, as well as the number of hotspots that are available. With more and more businesses looking to invest beyond the capital and explore opportunities in other parts of the nation, digital connectivity is seen as an increasingly important factor in these kinds of decision.

The results suggest that many areas of the UK may require more investment before they meet the needs of businesses and private users.

Overall Connectivity

You won’t be surprised to learn that major cities like London and Manchester figure at the top of the list when it comes to overall connectivity. London is a major world tech hub and Manchester has invested in its digital infrastructure over the last decade or so. One sign of good connectivity is 4G coverage which is over 60% in London and Manchester. Head to smaller cities like Exeter and Carlisle, however, and that coverage drops to a staggering 6%.

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Mobile Coverage

As you might expect, mobile coverage in many parts of the UK is high, mainly because of increasing demand. While London figures in the top 10, Newcastle is at number one with over 61% 4G coverage. The worst ranking areas if you have a mobile phone are Truro, Wells and Hereford. In fact, the South West figures worryingly highly when it comes to poor phone signals.


Hull, Bristol, Brighton and Salford all fit into the top 4 places when it comes to high quality broadband. In Hull you can get a download speeds in excess of 35 Mbps but if you head to Derby your connection can suddenly drop to 23 Mbps.

Wi-Fi Hotspots

Being able to access the internet on the move is becoming increasingly important. Finding a hotspot in your local city used to be a hit or miss affair but improvements over the last decade since the smartphone was invented have made a big difference. Manchester tops the list with 395 people per hotspot while the worst is Chelmsford where you can find as many as 2,439 people per hotspot.

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The interactive tool by Go Compare also allows you to compare specific cities and see how they match up in terms of connectivity. While things are gradually improving in many areas of the UK, there is obviously more investment that is needed in certain parts of the nation.

You can view the UK’s most connected cities interactive here.