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Citizens Advice calls for broadband champion to improve services

Six in ten Brits have faced interrupted or slow broadband in the last 12 months, according to Citizens Advice. Almost a quarter of the 4,000 people surveyed for Citizens Advice said internet problems had disrupted their work or study. The report said that, on average, customers spend some 2.4 hours trying to sort out problems with their service.

Broadband champion

Now Citizens Advice is calling on the government to appoint a telecoms consumer advocate to help resolve the widespread issues with internet providers.

The charity hopes that the new position would pressure internet companies and regulators into improving services. “People now rely on their broadband and mobile connection for the day-to-day running of their lives,” said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice. “Yet the majority of people continue to face significant disruptions that can waste their time.”

Citizens Advice calls for broadband champion to improve servicesBroadband wires (Getty)

A government spokesperson admitted that reliable internet was “no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a modern necessity, and we all know how frustrating it is when it doesn’t work”.

Short of expectations

Which? analysis found that many households across the UK are receiving far slower broadband speeds than promised by their providers.[1]

The faster the anticipated speed of the broadband connection, the lower the actual speed recorded in testing tended to be, research from consumer group found. A separate report from Cable.co.uk claimed the UK is ranked 31st in the world in terms of broadband speeds, behind the majority of Europe, Taiwan and Singapore. The average UK download speed is 16.5Mbps, one third of the 55Mbps average in Singapore, the fastest region in the world.

The report examined 63m speed tests in 189 countries over the course of a year, and ranked Canada, New Zealand and the US above the UK.

Compensation

Ofcom announced last November that households receiving poor service will be entitled to automatic compensation from their provider.

From 2019 they will get GBP8 a day if a fault is not fixed, paid as a refund through their bill.

Providers will also have to pay GBP5 a day if their broadband or landline is not working on the day it was promised.

References

  1. ^ many households across the UK are receiving far slower broadband speeds than promised by their providers. (inews.co.uk)

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