The UK’s broadband infrastructure is now more vital than ever with millions of us using the internet to surf the web, protect our homes and be entertained each night. However, if the latest connectivity stats are to be believed it seems far too many of us are suffering from outages and broadband-busting issues. These are leaving many without an internet connection for extensive periods and it’s an issue that seems worse depending on where you live.
According to the team at Uswitch, a staggering 21 million UK consumers faced disruption to their broadband over the past 12 months. That’s a massive number of homes with some being hit by these frustrating outages at least once per month. To make matters worse, many say that once their access goes offline it stays that way for up to three hours.
So who is suffering the most and where are worse areas for broadband blackouts?
Uswitch has confirmed that users in Southampton have experienced the highest levels of disruption in the UK, with the average resident spending 63.2 hours offline over the course of the year.
This was followed by Newcastle (56.8 hours) and Birmingham (47.1 hours). Liverpool and Nottingham both appear in the top with all of these areas coming well below London which suffered just 13.5 hours of offline time.
There’s clearly a huge difference depending on location and these broadband outages have now become a bigger frustration to Brits than traditional issues such as roadwork or late deliveries.
Martin Lewis explains money saving broadband tip
WORST AREAS FOR BROADBAND
• Southampton – 63 hours
• Newcastle – 57 hours
• Birmingham – 47 hours
• Liverpool – 44 hours
• Nottingham – 33 hours
“Despite major price increases earlier in the year, if anything, the issue of broadband outages appears to be getting worse. This isn’t acceptable in a cost of living crisis, especially considering the ongoing reliance on home internet for many UK workers,” said Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.
“It’s also concerning that there seems to be a significant disparity in customer experience between customers in London and those around the country, who have to settle for less.
“The good news is that there is a lot of competition in the broadband market, including smaller, disruptive providers offering faster speeds at competitive prices.
“These new broadband challengers, including Community Fibre, Gigaclear and Hyperoptic, offer an alternative to the mainstream internet service providers which rely on copper wires and fibre cables from Openreach or Virgin Media’s infrastructure.”
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If your broadband is constantly going offline there are some things you can try to get a connection made again.
Firstly, it’s definitely worth rebooting your router as it might be your equipment that’s faulty rather than your supplier. Just hit the power button, leave things off for 30 seconds and then turn it back on again.
If things are constantly going offline then it might be worth investing in a backup device such as a 5G dongle which uses the airwaves to beam the web to devices rather than fixed-line cables.
Finally, Uswitch has some good advice that could save you money.
“If your broadband goes down, report the fault to your provider as soon as possible. If it’s then not fixed after two working days, you’ll automatically receive compensation,” the comparison site said.
“You could receive £9.33 if the service is not fixed two full working days after you report it, and then £9.33 for each full day it is still not fixed after that.”
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