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ISPs failing 13m Brits on broadband speed, claims consumer group

Which? finds poor customer service and plodding networks

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Fast and reliable broadband connections remain a distant dream for far too many Brits, researchers at a consumer group claimed on Friday.

It's estimated by Which? that around 13 million households across Blighty are saddled with slow access to the country's networks.

The issue was compounded by poor service, the outfit added.

Researchers at Populus, which was commissioned by the company to carry out the study, found that - of the 2,012 British adults it quizzed earlier this year - around a quarter (27 per cent) of them complained of having to wait two days to have their internet connections fixed.

One in 10 subscribers said that they had waited for at least a week for telcos to reconnect them to their broadband service.

Which? said:

We also found three in 10 (31 per cent) who contacted their provider with a problem said they did not get a resolution at all, a quarter of those who did get a resolution (25 per cent) were dissatisfied with how long it took, and one in five (20 per cent) said they contacted their ISP three times or more to resolve a problem.

The consumer rights' campaigner said that ISPs should provide customers with a guaranteed broadband speed and stick to that promise so that customers get the service they have paid for. Brits are being nudged by the group to support its gripes by signing a petition.

So far, at time of writing, it has just 151 signatures.

"It’s less superfast broadband, more super slow service from companies who are expecting people to pay for speeds they may never get. Broadband providers need to give customers the right information and take responsibility for resolving problems," said Which? exec director Richard Lloyd.

BT's copper wiring infrastructure, which the one-time national telecoms giant continues to widely use to link customers to its fibre network, was blamed for the sluggishness experienced by many subscribers throughout the UK by one of its rivals, Hyperoptic, which bills itself as a super speedy broadband provider.

The company's chairman, Boris Ivanovic, said:

[I]f a consumer gets their broadband through a twisted pair telephone line, speeds will always be subject to distance attenuation and interference.

Even FTTC [fibre-to-the-cabinet] is not a true fibre connection and is still delivered through old telephone lines, which are still subject to same physical limitations. Consumers still experience unstable speeds, slower service during peak times, and discrepancies between upload and download speeds.

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