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British broadband is confusing and speeds are crap, says survey

See, it's not just Grant Shapps who gets it mixed up

By Gareth Corfield


Four in five Britons has experienced broadband molasses in the past year and most of us are also "bamboozled" by the terms that telcos use to peddle their wares at us, according to a survey.

Just one in five, meanwhile, would change network to escape from crap internet speeds, says survey purveyor uSwitch, a price comparison website.

More than half of us (54 per cent) have experienced webpages that crash, while two thirds of the 2,004 “nationally representative UK adults” who responded to the survey moaned that their internet connection, er, disconnects.

While uSwitch tells us that superfast broadband “significantly reduces speed and reliability issues compared to standard packages”, just over half of survey respondents believed it was available in their area.

Ewan Taylor-Gibson, performance marketing lead at uSwitch, gave the obligatory canned quote: “Quite simply, most consumers aren’t bothered by the technical definitions of their broadband connection, they just want – and deserve – a reliable service that delivers value. However, consumer speed frustrations coupled with a lack of awareness around superfast availability shows more needs to be done to communicate what’s available to individual properties in a meaningful way.”

It isn’t only consumers who are confused about what “superfast” means, in the technical sense. Grant “Michael Green” Shapps MP told the world in a report issued at the end of July that superfast means 10Mbps speeds. In fact, the government defines superfast as 24Mbps.

Meanwhile, even Londoners get pisspoor superfast broadband connectivity despite paying hefty sums for the infamously marketed “up to” packages. The government claims 90 per cent of British households can receive a superfast broadband service. ®

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