Slow Internet speeds are affecting more than 1.2 million school children

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A study carried out by uSwitch has found more than 1.2 million school children are falling behind at school due to slow Internet speeds. 15 per cent of parents blamed the slow speeds for the negative impact on the education of their children. 

A report stated 69 per cent of parents feel the Internet is essential to their child’s education with half of homework now being dependent on Internet usage at some point. This was according to a survey carried out by uSwitch.com that asked 1000 parents of children aged five to eight between March 5 to March 8.

Despite the need for the Internet to complete homework, 36 per cent of parents said their child has experienced broadband issues when doing work. In contrast only seven per cent of parents said their children don’t use any Internet when it comes to doing homework.

The same study revealed children use the Internet for educational content found on websites such as YouTube, The Brain Scoop, Wikipedia and BBC Bitesize. Laptops are the preferred choice of hardware at 61 per cent when it comes to doing homework, with tablets, mobile phones, games consoles and smart TVs also used. 

It has been found that slower Internet speeds occur during peak times in the evening, with 24 per cent of parents citing this as a direct impact on their child’s ability to do homework.

Parents living in towns and cities are five times more likely to blame Internet issues than those living in rural areas, where Internet speeds are usually slower.

uSwitch head of regulation Richard Neudegg said: “The fact that poor broadband connectivity at home could be having a material impact on our children’s learning is deeply worrying. For some time now, teachers have been warning of a nationwide risk that children could fall behind if broadband speeds are not up to par.”

“The government has recently announced a voucher scheme for SMEs that is designed to help with the cost of connecting to full fibre broadband. It’s high time attention was turned to helping families get onto better suited, more reliable broadband services.”

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