Broadband speeds have increase by 33 per cent, but three million internet users are still dissatisfied with the broadband speed they receive, new research from uSwitch.com has found.
Average speeds have increased from 4.2Mb to 5.7Mb this year, but out of the six million homes that pay for an 8Mb broadband service, only a third are actually receiving it, the study discovered.
This is in correlation with a recent report from Ofcom which said that slow broadband speeds are the most common cause for web users to contact their broadband provider.
While technology struggles to keep up with consumers' expectations, fast broadband is becoming an essential rather than a desirable commodity in UK households, where 82 per cent use the internet to manage their finances, and half use it to watch television.
But despite the importance placed on broadband speed by consumers, who say that speed is more important to them than price when it comes to choosing a service, nearly half of consumers have not checked what speed broadband they are actually receiving.
uSwitch.com has issued a new report ahead of the meeting to be held by the Culture Secretary this week to address the availability of superfast broadband, but the report finds that much of Britain is still struggling to access basic broadband speeds, let along ones of up to 50Mb.
The comparison website says that Government plans to increase the minimum broadband speed to 2Mb do not go far enough.
Ernest Doku, communications expert at uSwitch.com, comments: "Consumers are continually getting the short thrift when it comes to actual broadband speeds - there needs to be more transparency," and that "The need for speed is only going to increase as more companies develop media rich websites and the popularity for online TV continues to skyrocket. Any new initiatives cannot come soon enough."
Next-generation broadband should take a back seat rolling out basic broadband services to everyone across the country, even in rural areas, he said.
To get the best broadband service, uSwitch recommends using as short a lead as possible when connecting to the main telephone socket, using a LAN cable instead of wireless to give less interference and higher speeds, and checking their line speed to see that they are getting what they pay for.
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