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Reliable Broadband More Important Than Speed to Most Brits


More people in the UK would prefer to have a reliable and consistent broadband connection over ultra-fast speeds, according to Nominet.

Nominet, the company that runs the .uk internet infrastructure, conducted a survey of 2,800 adults across the country asking them how satisfied they were with their home broadband and mobile data. Its data revealed that 60% of broadband users would choose reliability over speed, with 79% of respondents saying they have experienced connectivity problems with their broadband connection within the last year.

The data also found that 66% of British adults believed the telecoms industry need to prioritise achieving consistent geographical coverage across the UK over promoting higher speeds in a select few areas. In contrast to poor reliability, 77% of internet users said they are happy with the speed of their home broadband connection.  

Londoners were found to be the most unhappy with their broadband reliability, with 18% of people in the capital saying they were wholly dissatisfied. Meanwhile, people in the North East of England were revealed to be the most satisfied with their home broadband, with 86% saying they were satisfied with their reliability and 83% happy with their speed, compared to the national averages of 76% and 77% respectively.

The survey also looked into the reliability of mobile data coverage, which found that many Brits are dissatisfied with this too. In fact, people across the UK were consistently less satisfied with their mobile internet connection than with their home broadband. 18% of respondents said they couldn’t rely on their mobile phones to do anything beyond the most basic tasks. Regionally, people were most dissatisfied with their mobile data coverage in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the South West of England, with 22% of respondents in these regions saying they can’t rely on their phones.

The research has shown that more needs to be done to increase internet connectivity and reliability across the country in order to boost work, education and sociability. While flexible working has been highlighted as a way to improve peoples’ work-life balance, just 48% of people feel confident enough to work at home due to their unreliable broadband connection. Similarly, just 50% of people said they can stream music without issues, while 57% said they can stream videos on platforms such as BBC iPlayer or Netflix without any problems.

“In our ‘always on’ era it’s becoming more important than ever that everyone has access to a reliable and consistent connection,” said Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet. “Whether it’s struggling to complete homework online, not being able to download critical documents for work or having an online payment cancelled or disrupted, the ramifications of a poor connection can stretch far into the future. If the UK is to have a vibrant digital future – not just in pockets, but across the whole country – we need to deliver on consistency and equality, and open up the way we build our digital infrastructure to new and independent players.”

Fergus Cole
Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.

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