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Millions of households struggled with poor broadband during lockdown

12th October 2020 Print

Increased internet usage over lockdown has led to more than one third (36%) of UK households – the equivalent often million homes – experiencing slower connectivity which prevents them from working effectively from home according to research by

The majority (80%) of those struggling with a  bad connection say that their broadband has negatively impacted their ability to work from home at some point in the past, with more than one fifth (23%) saying that they have been unable to work on several occasions during lockdown.

When asked to describe their broadband provider in terms of speed, reliability and reach, more than one in 10 (11%) respondents consider their internet connection to be ‘bad’. Major complaints from internet users include temperamental connections that drop out regularly, broadband that fails when lots of people are online and connections that struggle with video calls and streaming services.

Despite frustration, a large majority (84%) of respondents have not switched provider or even considered changing to a new supplier, suggesting that widespread inertia may be affecting the market. Of those that did decide to switch, almost half (48%) opted to pay more for a faster, more reliable connection, while more than two-fifths (44%) managed to pay the same or less for improved services.

Cost and poor connection are the biggest drivers among switchers, as more than two-fifths (43%) of those looking to change provider were hunting for a better deal or an improved service. However, more than one third (38%) of respondents who chose to switch also wanted their broadband and TV package to come from the same provider.

Holly Niblett, head of digital at said: “The millions of people who rely on their broadband at home for a wide range of reasons – work, paying bills and keeping in contact with friends and family – know first-hand how frustrating and inconvenient a poor internet connection can be. We know from our own research that the COVID-19 lockdown has seen almost three quarters (74%) of households increase their internet usage, yet many are stuck on inadequate and expensive packages that don’t meet their requirements.

“In shopping around for a better deal, customers have access to a range of fast and affordable broadband packages that can cost less than their existing deal. When comparing broadband packages, customers should be mindful that many providers bundle broadband with TV packages, which can work out cheaper than purchasing the two separately.”