The broadband service many of us get simply isn’t good enough. That’s why we’ve launched a campaign to paint a true picture of broadband speeds across the UK
Fancy getting up at 4am just so you can do your online banking? How about having to queue up at an internet cafe to send a few emails? It doesn’t sound much fun. But it’s reality for many left behind while the rest of the UK gets ever-faster broadband.
Broadband firms love to bandy around phrases such as ‘superfast’ and ‘ultrafast’, and advertise connection speeds that, for many, are as impossible to get as the winning lottery numbers.
The government says that the lowest acceptable download speed is 10Mbps, but a House of Commons report last month revealed communities struggling to get anywhere near this.
It listed the village of Abererch in Wales as having the lowest speeds in the UK. Residents there report having to get up at all hours to use the internet before it slows to a complete crawl.
Our latest broadband survey shows some improvements. But we also found there is still a massive difference between rural and urban areas.
Just 59% of rural premises had access to 30Mbps download speeds by June 2016. Pretty poor, given that the UK average is 90%.
Where I live in the West Country we have to pay £30 a month extra for a 4GB mobile phone mast that offers speeds of only 20Mbps. Farmers nearby have to go to internet cafes to send off forms they’re required by law to complete.
And these problems aren’t unique to rural areas – many residents in pockets of our towns and cities are also reporting struggles with slow speeds and constant buffering.
Reliable and fast broadband is vital for anyone who wants to play a full role in our society. Whether it’s applying for a job, shopping online, doing online banking, or running your own business, you need a trustworthy internet connection.
It’s because so many of your daily experiences differ so widely from the superfast paradise promised by broadband providers that we have launched the Fix Bad Broadband campaign.
We want to paint a true picture of broadband speeds across the UK, and we’ll use that evidence to tackle the problem.
Our improved broadband speed checker lets you get a much clearer idea of what speed you should be expecting in your area.