Most Brits Just Want Reliable, Not Faster Broadband

Nominet, the non-profit company that manages UK web addresses, has surprisingly found that most people in the UK would prefer to have more reliable broadband rather than ultra-fast speeds.

When it polled 2,080 UK adults on their home internet connectivity, six in 10 (60 percent) said they would opt for reliability over speed.

And this could down to a very good reason as almost 4 in 5 adults (79 percent) reported that they have experienced internet reliability problems in the last year.

Reliable Internet

Respondents to the Nominet poll also felt that the telecoms industry should do more to promote consistent geographical coverage over localised pockets of higher speeds. Over two thirds (66 percent) agreed with this view.

But the good news for Openreach and Virgin Media is that most people (77 percent) are actually satisfied with their home internet connection speeds.

A slightly smaller proportion (76 percent) are satisfied overall with its reliability.

The dissatisfied people with their home internet speeds are Londoners, with nearly a fifth (18 percent) saying they are wholly dissatisfied.

In comparison, 86 percent in the North East were satisfied with their reliability and 83 percent with their speed.

But the research did highlight an important issue, namely people’s dissatisfaction and inability to rely on local mobile signals, which scored consistently lower rates of satisfaction than home internet connection.

Of those polled, nearly a fifth (18 percent) said that they couldn’t rely on their local mobile internet coverage for anything beyond basic tasks. People in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the South West in particular, seemed to struggle with their local mobile internet, with the figure rising to 22 percent in each of the three regions.

Always on

“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,” said Haworth.

“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,” said Haworth.

Earlier this week Openreach announced the addition of 36 new locations where it will be building its ‘future-proof’ Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology over the next 12 months.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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