Latest Which? research has found that many people consider broadband to be an essential service. So what do you use yours for?
It was only housing, energy, food and running water that were considered more important than broadband.
Now I don’t know about you, but my broadband keeps me connected and on top of things – I enter energy readings online, check my bank balance, shop for groceries, do a bit of Christmas shopping here and there, connect with friends on social media, research my next holiday destinations and, of course, keep an eye on Which? Conversation.
So, it seems to me that without easy and reliable access to the internet, I’d really struggle.
I have to admit that when I moved house earlier this year, my broadband was one of the first things I got set up.
I transferred my existing account to my new address and was distinctly disappointed that, despite prior notice, I had to wait 3-4 days for the connection to kick in (3-4 days where I was, of course, still paying for it).
Even though I knew it was coming, it was still frustrating being without an internet connection. I needed to set up my council tax, change my address for my mobile phone provider and carry out various other bits and pieces of ‘life admin’.
Conducting such basic online tasks can be a real pain when you’re struggling to connect to the internet.
And I’m well aware that I’m not alone with my broadband troubles – according to our survey, 68% of households have experienced problems with their broadband connection.
We found that 35% of households have had broadband outages in the past 12 months, 36% have had slower speeds from a few minutes to a day, and 35% had slower speeds for a day or more.
When my broadband connection did finally kick in at my new place, I attempted to order a fridge – and, lo and behold, the connection kept dropping out.
The problem was that the connection dropped at the worst possible moment… when I was on the payment page. Trying to reconnect, I started to get a bit fearful of how many times I could have paid for this fridge and whether I’d cleared out my bank account… Thankfully, the payment only went through once!
Relying on broadband
Now my connection frustration was fairly limited, as its outage was only brief and there was no tangible impact on me.
But had that been a longer outage preventing me from, say, ordering a food shop, entering my energy readings or seeing my bank statement then I’m sure I’d have been a bit more irritated.
So, I’m curious to know: what do you use your broadband for and how do slower broadband, or connection outages affect you?