If you bought a pint of milk and found when you got home it was only a quarter full, you’d be well within your rights to demand what you’d paid for, and to complain further if you didn’t get it.
Broadband is now an essential part of daily life.
But because weasels write broadband ads, there’s usually an ‘up to’ prefix before the headline speed on offer.
This means that if you’re paying for ‘up to 16’ Megabits per second, but spending your evenings watching the shimmering petals of the buffering icon rather than Gardeners’ World, you could face the frustration of your provider simply pointing to its small print.
Slow broadband affects millions
I’ve recently been house-hunting in rural Devon and found that download speeds varied from a painfully slow 0.1Mbps, up to 16Mbps. But this is far from a localised issue – slow broadband affects millions of people all over the UK.
In our recent survey we found that 13 million households in the UK experience problems with their internet connection. Nearly half of those surveyed had experienced much slower speeds than normal, and for most this was a frequent problem, not a one-off.
Companies have a plethora of excuses: you might be too far from the exchange (a common theme for those in rural areas); there may be too many people using the connection at one time; your walls might be ‘too thick’, or high-speed fibre might not have arrived in your area yet (again, a common complaint for rural areas) despite the ubiquitous ads for fibre connections.
For many in rural areas, particularly those who aren’t able to get about, broadband is much more than a convenience; it can be their connection to friends, family, shops and increasingly employment, too. It is high time that broadband providers delivered on their promises.