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Page last updated at 08:02 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 09:02 UK
Is your broadband quick enough?

By Dan Whitworth
Newsbeat technology reporter

Caspar Swanston
Caspar Swanston, 16, can't watch the BBC's iPlayer or use YouTube

Logging on to Facebook? 10 minutes. Watching a clip on YouTube? 45 minutes. Checking out the latest episode of the Apprentice on BBC iPlayer? 2 hours.

The BBC's been told that's what it's like for three million households across the UK who have to put up living in so called broadband "not-spots".

The figure's come out ahead of a big report on the future of digital Britain out next month.

Broadband providers like BT and Virgin say their high speed coverage is growing but that right now it's just not cost effective to cover the whole of the UK.

That's despite a government promise to give every home access to fast broadband, defined as a minimum of 2 megabits per second (2Mbps), by 2012.

Caspar Swanston is 16 years old and lives in Ewhurst, a village in the Surrey countryside.

But despite living less than 30 miles (48.2km) from central London he has to put up with taking 10 minutes just to log on to sites like Facebook.

"You just can't surf the internet like normal people can.

Slow connection

"It just leaves me feeling frustrated but overall it just often takes too many hours out of the day and gets really annoying after a while."

It's not just social networking sites that are a nightmare.

For one, 10-minute video on YouTube to come up we're looking at about half an hour to an hour
Caspar Swanston says his broadband connection is too slow

"Most of the time it's hardly worth trying to use things like BBC iPlayer.

"Stuff like the Apprentice and Ashes to Ashes, if I lived in Cranley which is a village that is about five miles (8km) from here, I could watch it on iPlayer.

"But I can't do that here because it'd take about three hours just to download one episode".

And it's the same kind of problem for YouTube.

"For one, 10-minute video on YouTube to come up we're looking at about half an hour to an hour.

"For two it would take possibly one hour and a half to two hours - just not worth it."

As for gaming? Same again.

"I would've liked to get a PS3 but most of the fun on consoles comes from playing games like Call of Duty 4 and Fifa 09 online with your mates.

"But you can't do that if you've got rubbish broadband access, so there's not even any point in me trying."

UK broadband penetration

Data provided by: SamKnows.com



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