The Peak District National Park has 19 exchanges in the following locations: Alstonefield, Bakewell, Baslow, Bradfield, Edale, Great Longstone, Grindleford, Hartington, Hathersage, Hope, Longnor, Parwich, Onecote, Taddington, Thorpe, Tideswell, Wincle, Winster and Youlgreave.
There are an additional 21 exchanges covering communities on the national park boundary.
Broadband speeds in the Peak District
As of January 2014, all of the Peak District exchanges provide broadband speeds of up to 8 Mbps via ADSL. (Note: the further you are from the exchange, the lower the speed you will receive). On average:
- 40% of properties receive speeds of 7.5 Mbps (properties are clustered around village exchanges)
- 34% of properties receive speeds less than 2 Mbps
- 17% of properties receive speeds less than 1Mbps.
However, this situation is quickly improving, as a number of towns and villages in the Peak District are likely to receive Fibre to the Cabinet (FFTC) network upgrades in the next two years as part of the government’s Broadband Delivery UK project. Larger towns of Matlock, Leek, Buxton and Bakewell are now upgraded, with smaller towns and villages expected to benefit during 2015 and 2016.
Rollout of Superfast broadband is funded by Government, BT and local county councils. You can find out more about when your property could benefit from faster speeds and the benefits it might bring by checking out the website of your local county council’s broadband rollout programme:
The intention of these programmes is to provide superfast broadband (defined as over 24mbps) to at least 95% of properties by 2017, and a minimum speed of 2mbps to remaining properties. Unfortunately, given the rural nature of the Peak District, there are a number of isolated properties and communities that fall into the remaining 5% category. However, it is important to note that these communities should still see an improvement over their current provision, and bear in mind that technology to provide fast broadband is constantly evolving, and government and communications providers are investigating innovative ways to provide coverage to ‘harder to reach’ areas.
The Peak District National Park Authority is not responsible for the provision of communications, and has no resource to deal with issues as such. Whilst we do have some jurisdiction over the siting of infrastructure such as mobile phone masts, we try to work with communications and utilities providers to find solutions that are sympathetic to the landscape. There have been very few cases where the National Park Authority has acted as a barrier to the rollout of communications infrastructure, and there have been none in the past two years in direct response to broadband rollout. We fully recognise the importance of broadband internet in ensuring communities and businesses remain viable in the 21st century.