BROADBAND connections in a village near Evesham are among the slowest in the country, new figures have revealed.
Research by comparison site uSwitch.com showed the average download speed in Evesham Road in Norton is the sixth slowest in the country at just 0.92 megabits per second (mbps) – almost 20 times slower than the national average.
Despite super-fast broadband – defined by the European Union as connections 30 mbps and faster – being available to 73 per cent of the UK, the research showed just 15 per cent of households in the country are able to access such connections.
Chairman of Norton and Lenchwick Parish Council Kathleen Leonard said the problem was down to poor phone lines throughout the area.
"It is stifling productivity in the parish," she said.
"People could be doing a lot more business in the area.
"If the lines were fixed it would be much better, but I suppose it's not cost-effective because there are only about 400 people living in the whole parish."
Cllr Leonard, who works from home with a company working to improve phone connections, said she had recently found herself forced to install a new line into her house so she did not have to travel to her company's offices in Bristol every day.
"I was lucky because my company paid for that but I feel bad for people living around here who can't get a good connection," she said.
"Nothing will help them unless the line can be cleaned or improved.
"BT knows about it but they haven't done anything."
Worcestershire County Council is currently developing a £20 million scheme to introduce super-fast internet across the area, which is expected to be completed by June 2016.
Member for Harvington and Norton on Wychavon District Council Cllr Charles Homer said slow internet speeds had long been an issue in the area.
“The problem is the super-fast broadband connection goes as far as the exchange but doesn’t go to homes,” he said.
“People are struggling to run businesses or work from home.
“Evesham has some pretty good connection speeds and it’s a shame that you can go five minutes down the road and see speeds go right down.”
Elsewhere in Worcestershire connections in Stourbridge were also among the 50th slowest in the country at 1.32 mbps.
Streets in Corringham in Essex and Conwy in North Wales topped the poll of slowest streets in the UK with an average of just 60 mbps while customers in Dronfield, Derbyshire and Swindon enjoyed the speediest connection in the country at about three times faster than the national average.
To check your connection speed visit www.speedtest.net.