UK consumers unhappy with broadband speeds

Only half (52%) of UK broadband users are happy with the speed of their service, according to new findings from price comparison website, which adds that users are reporting an average speed of just 4.2 Mbps.

The new research, conducted with over 12,000 broadband users in the UK, found that 45% of users (or around 6.75mn) would like to receive faster Internet services, on which UK consumers currently spend GB£ 2.6bn per year. However, 15% of the UK is still technically unable to access speeds of more than 2 Mbps.

These findings are described as echoing those of Ofcom’s Broadband Speeds 2008 report, which revealed that one in five customers on 8Mb packages is actually receiving speeds of less than 2Mb. Furthermore, some broadband companies are now enforcing a restriction on download speeds during peak times, meaning that many consumers could be receiving an even slower speed than normal when a large number of households are online.

The new research from found that reliability of connection is named as one of the most important factors by 61% consumers, followed by speed with 58%, then value for money at 54%, technical support at 12% and customer service at 11%.

“It is six months since the voluntary Ofcom Code of Practice came into force, but consumers are still stuck in the broadband slow lane through no fault of their own," said Jason Glynn, communications expert at "Technology has raced ahead and people are able to access services online that could previously only be dreamt of – the only thing holding broadband Britain back is speed.

“The need for speed is only going to increase as more companies develop media rich websites and the popularity for online TV continues to skyrocket, ultimately affecting everyone’s service. The Government and providers need to step up a gear and set out a bold new blueprint for Britain’s future. Virgin Media and BT have already made strides in this direction - the question is whether other providers will be following suit and whether all customers will be able to benefit equally, regardless of where they live."