Broadband providers under fire after ‘more than half’ of UK households report problems


Virgin Media bottom of the pile as users complain about prices and connection

Up to 60 per cent of households have reported problems with their broadband provider in the past year, according to a Which? survey.

According to data from 1,900 broadband customers across 12 providers, more than half of broadband customers contacted their provider about problems including price hikes, poor speeds, connection dropouts and router issues.

Virgin Media customers were the most likely to see a problem, with almost 75 per cent of customers experiencing difficulty, more than half of which was on prices.

Sky and BT followed the most complained about providers. Topping the customer contentment charts was Zen Internet, which got the fewest complaints, with just a quarter of customers saying they had any issue with the provider.

Which? managing director of home products and services Alex Neill said: “It’s clear that too many households are still suffering from sub-standard broadband, and our research hows providers have a long way to go before they meet customers’ expectations.

“Customers who suffer a shoddy broadband service will welcome new measures for automatic compensation. However, providers should do more to stop these problems happening.”

One in five people surveyed by Which? said price was their main bugbear, with Virgin media customers twice as likely to have a problem with price than those with other providers.

Slow Speeds 

However, a further 20 per cent said slow speeds affected them. According to the survey, TalkTalk customers were more likely to experience slow speeds than those on other providers.

CommScope vice-president of service providers international Phil Sorsky said: “As a country, we all depend on speedy and reliable broadband as a key part of our lives.

“Fibre-to-the-home  technology is widely considered the fastest and most reliable way to access the Internet, offering the potential to deliver a wide range of services and applications – although the tide is turning, it still isn’t widespread across the UK.

“Connectivity plays a key role as an enabler of economic growth and maintaining a high standard is crucial.

The key to achieving this will be to ensure the background infrastructure – the fibre highway – is in place as soon as possible, using techniques such as fibre cabling, combining fibre with power to the huge number of new ‘small cells” and investing in more direct fibre-to-the home (FTTH) constructions.

“If the UK is to deliver on its commitment to becoming global digital nation, continued investment in fibre should form a key part of its wider connectivity strategy.”