Struggling with glacial broadband speeds, or frequent connection issues? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Which? has surveyed 3,000 customers from five of the biggest broadband and television providers in the UK, including BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and EE. It found that two-thirds of the respondents have experienced at least one issue with their service in the last 12 months.
That’s a pretty damning figure, but perhaps worst still, around a third (30 percent) of those surveyed said the monthly price they pay has increased during the same timeframe.
According to the data from Which?, the most common problem suffered by all broadband customers is a slow connection, which is followed by frequent signal drop-outs, and router issues. Each of these impacted around one in five broadband and paid-TV customers in the UK.
When it comes to slow speeds, Which? data shows that Sky is the worst offender. However, it’s worth taking that figure with a pinch of salt as a huge proportion of customers who use Sky Broadband are still reliant on ageing copper cable infrastructure across the UK. Compared with the fibre cables used by Virgin Media, Giganet, and parts of the BT network, copper cables can only manage slower speeds, are less reliable, and can be impacted by bad weather.
It’s worth noting that Virgin Media O2 currently offers two models of its Wi-Fi router, with those paying for the fastest Gig1 broadband bundles enjoying a newer model, the Hub 4, which boasts four dedicated gigabit ethernet sockets, support for Wi-Fi 5, and the ability to juggle more devices.
It’s unclear whether the customers complaining about the problems with the router are reliant on the new Hub 4 or the older Hub 3 model, which is still available to those paying for slower connections.
If you’re a BT customer, you can feel a little smugger. According to the survey data from Which?, BT broadband was judged as the best overall performer, with the greatest proportion of customers who hadn’t experienced any issues in the past year. Around 35 percent of all BT customers surveyed experienced no issues.
EE has the worst overall brand, with a meagre 15 percent of respondents experiencing none of the issues outlined. Which? has shared a table that brings together some of the data, however, it doesn’t offer a deep-dive into the findings of its survey. However, it’s enough to identify some of the biggest trends for those experiencing issues.
It’s also worth noting that, while customers will often point the blame towards the broadband supplier, not all of the reported problems will necessarily lay at their feet. Slow Wi-Fi speeds – one of the biggest complaints from the Which? survey – can be caused by a number of issues inside the home. However, without spending the time to identify issues with the placement of the router, or the differences between 2.4GHz and 5Ghz bandwidths when connecting to certain gadgets… it can seem like everything is triggered by the router alone.