NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS SWITCHING TO SUPER-FAST BROADBAND DOUBLED IN LOCKDOWN
- Four in five (80%) households now switching to super-fast broadband packages, compared to only a third (34%) at the start of 2020
- 95% of broadband sales are now for fibre broadband, compared to only 54% two years ago
- Nearly one in two (48%) households have experienced internet issues during lockdown
6 May 2021 – More than double the number of households are opting for super-fast broadband (more than 60mbps) since the start of the pandemic, according to comparethemarket.com. Households are searching for faster broadband options to cope with working from home: the first month of 2021 saw four out of five (80%) households who switched choosing broadband download speeds of over 60 mbps, compared with only a third (34%) at the start of 2020.
The increase in uptake of faster broadband packages has been accelerated by the onset of the pandemic and millions of households forced to work from home and attend school online, until recently. In January 2019, only 15% of households were switching to super-fast broadband deals.
The number of households opting for slower download speeds has dramatically dropped when switching provider. In January 2021, only 5% of switches were to packages with download speeds below 30 mbps.
Superfast broadband is not only becoming more popular but also increasingly affordable. Over the course of 2020, the average cost of a superfast broadband and phone package (51mpbs+) fell by 6%, from £28.71 to £27.09.*
Research from comparethemarket.com showed that more than a third (38%) of households have more people needing to use the internet during working hours than before the pandemic. This is putting pressure on broadband speeds and has caused internet connectivity problems for one in two (48%) households. With more people working from home, and home schooling until recently, access to the internet is more important than ever. The research however found that nearly a third (29%) of households have experienced work disruptions due to internet problems, and online schooling has been disrupted in 18% of households.
Households can use a broadband speed test to compare their internet connection against different providers in their area. To understand more about how to improve your broadband speed, comparethemarket.com has some help and advice here.
Holly Niblett, head of digital at comparethemarket.com, said:
“Access to a fast and secure internet connection is now an essential part of many people’s everyday lives. The pandemic has led to a significant increase in the number of households choosing faster broadband packages, as they juggle both their professional and personal lives online. The pressures of sharing an internet connection with family and other people in the house has certainly led to more people searching out a better connection.
“The rollout of fibre broadband has meant more people are able to access a better connection in their homes. However, many people choose not to switch provider and are likely sitting on an out-of-date contract and paying a higher price than they should be. There are good deals to be had so take a few moments to shop around and find the package at a speed and price that works for your household.”
Notes to editors
Censuswide survey on behalf of comparethemarket.com of 2,000 UK internet bill decision makers between 12th – 17th February 2021.
*FDM Pricing & Offer Data, Direct pricing for major providers*, 51Mbs - 76Mbs Advertised Average Speed Dual Play Packages only excl. Existing and Student package pricing, 1st Jan 2020 s. 31st Dec 2020. Ofcom's defined list of major providers include BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Vodafone.
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