Slower lockdown broadband affecting millions of home workers

80% of those who’ve had internet problems say it’s negatively affected their ability to work from home.

Tom Harrison
Content writer
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Posted 19 OCTOBER 2020

As many as 10 million UK households have experienced slower broadband connections during lockdown, hindering their ability to work from home.

New research shows over a third (36%) of homes have reported reduced speeds, at a time when almost three-quarters (74%) of households have increased their internet usage.

And despite over one in 10 respondents describing their internet connection as ‘bad’, an overwhelming 84% have not switched provider or even considered changing to a new supplier.

Temperamental connections

Of those struggling with dodgy internet, the majority (80%) say their broadband has negatively affected their ability to work from home at some point – with 23% admitting they’ve been unable to work on a few occasions during lockdown.

It seems broadband that fails when multiple users are online, connections that struggle with video calls and streaming services, and having a service that drops out regularly are the chief complaints.

Holly Niblett, head of digital at said: “The millions of people who rely on their broadband at home for a wide range of reasons – work, paying bills and keeping in contact with friends and family – know first-hand how frustrating and inconvenient a poor internet connection can be.

“We know from our own research that the COVID-19 lockdown has seen almost three-quarters (74%) of households increase their internet usage, yet many are stuck on inadequate and expensive packages that don’t meet their requirements.”

Vast majority yet to switch

Although widespread frustration exists across the UK’s internet-using households, only 16% have switched or even considered making a move – suggesting widespread inertia may be affecting the market.

Among those who have seized the opportunity to switch, almost half (48%) went for a faster, more reliable connection – with 44% choosing to pay the same or less for an improved service.

Over a third (38%) of those who chose to switch wanted their broadband and TV package to come from the same provider.

Holly Niblett added: “In shopping around for a better deal, customers have access to a range of fast and affordable broadband packages that can cost less than their existing deal.

“When comparing broadband packages, customers should be mindful that many providers bundle broadband with TV packages, which can work out cheaper than purchasing the two separately.”