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Brits complain of laggy connections, other broadband issues

A consumer survey shows the United Kingdom's high-speed Internet services still have a long way to go.

A consumer survey shows the United Kingdom's high-speed Internet services still have a long way to go.

More than half of Britain’s broadband Internet customers have experienced connection issues and other problems with their service last year, according to the results of a new consumer survey released this week.

The survey, conducted by the consumer advocacy group Which, found that 53 percent of those polled expressed problems with their high-speed Internet service in the 12-month period that ended January 2023.

Among the issues cited by consumers were slower-than-expected download speeds, connection drop-outs, prolonged outages and random problems with Internet-based hardware like modems and routers.

Of the various broadband services offered in the United Kingdom, the three worst as reported by consumers were Comcast’s Sky, Virgin Media and Everything Everywhere (EE), Which reported. Sixty-eight percent of Sky customers reported broadband Internet problems in 2022, along with 65 percent of Virgin Media subscribers and 63 percent of EE customers.

British Telecom (BT) had the lowest report of customers experiencing issues across major broadband providers, though the tally was still high at 51 percent.

Smaller broadband companies logged the fewest complaints among consumers, including Hyperoptic, Utility Warehouse and Shell Energy Broadband (the latter is associated with the fuel company).

Customer service also left a lot to be desired, with 44 percent of those surveyed by Which reporting problems getting support. Eleven percent of broadband customers surveyed complained that they had trouble getting in touch with their provider’s support team.

Broadband bills in the United Kingdom are considerably lower than they are in North America, where consumers in the United States pay an average of $60 per month for fast Internet connections. By comparison, British households pay around £30, or $35, per month for broadband service, according to the British research firm Cable.

British subscribers are paying higher fees when compared to other parts of Europe. In Ukraine, the average cost of broadband service is around €8 (about $8.70) a month, while subscribers in other Eastern European countries are reporting bills around €18 (about $20) a month. Norway has the highest cost of broadband service at €45 (about $50) a month.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).