All Brits want for Christmas is better broadband. That’s according to a new survey that claims good Internet is one of our main priorities in life.
Consumer Watchdog Which? asked 2,000 people to rank the most important things in their lives. Unsurprisingly, 90% admitted that broadband is essential.
Less important was having a mobile phone, with 74% of people calling mobile ownership a ‘necessity’. Meanwhile only 68% of those surveyed said they couldn’t live without access to a car.
Clearly we care far more about broadband than we do our financial future, with many ranking good Internet above having a savings account (70%), with only 53% prioritising a pension scheme. To put it all in context, the only things deemed more important than broadband in the survey were food and water (both 97%).
But here’s the problem. In the same survey, more than two thirds of people reported issues with their broadband in the past year. Slower speeds than usual and frequent loss of service were the most common complaints.
As many as three in 10 claimed they were getting download speeds below 10Mbps, far lower than the UK average of 28.9Mbps. This comes after a report, which formally recognises that broadband speed advertising, needs to be clearer for consumers.
Managing Director of Home and Legal Services at Which? said: “This research underlines again from just how important broadband is to our everyday lives. Yet many of us are still experiencing persistent service interruptions and a large proportion of the population can’t access usable speeds to carry out the most basic tasks.”
He added: “The government must urgently press ahead with its reforms to give us the faster and more reliable broadband connections we all need.”
Following their Survey, Which? say they are pushing the government on their plans for automatic compensation scheme. This would result in a payout if broadband cuts out or drops below expected levels.
In a statement, the Chair of the Internet Services Provider’s Association said: “It’s no surprise that broadband is viewed as essential: the UK has a strong and leading digital economy and our members are continually innovating and investing in their networks.
He added: The UK broadband market is very competitive and Ofcom statistics show speeds and quality are improving year-on-year. However, we recognise that more can always be done to improve services, which is why billions are being invested in our broadband infrastructure from a wide and growing range of providers across the UK.”