BBC Watchdog: Ninety per cent of UK homes may never get advertised broadband speed

Never get the broadband speed you are paying for? You are definitely not alone, according to a recent BBC Watchdog investigation. BBC Watchdog found that 90 per cent of people in the UK are getting a speed below the top speed advertised, yet only nearly a third of people in the UK complain about it to their internet service provider (ISP).

There is perhaps a good reason why people fail to bother. Just one in ten saw a complaint result in a connection speed increase, with a ‘similar’ number of those who complained witnessing no difference whatsoever. The BBC’s Watchdog team asked ‘selected families’ across the UK to use a broadband speed tester to see how fast their connection really is.

White boxes were also installed to test speeds several times a week, providing it with a snapshot of the problem. Under-performing broadband speed is a problem for many households in the UK – and one that is unlikely to go away anytime soon. Current rules stipulate that an ISP can advertise a top speed if just 10 per cent of the population can actually receive it.

“Consumers should be getting the broadband speeds they are paying for and I want to make the nation aware of these ‘up to’ speed claims,” Watchdog’s Stephen McGovern said in a statement. Research from Watchdog revealed 42 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 were getting a slower speed than they paid for. USwitch broadband expert Ewan Taylor said the problem goes beyond slow loading times.

“Slow broadband connection can have a real impact on peoples’ lives,” he commented. “Students might not be able to download coursework material, miss out (again) getting that Glastonbury ticket and be unable to stream the latest Black Mirror or whatever it is their friends are all watching. You can end up feeling really cut off.” There are ways to improve the situation. “Enhanced broadband speed can be achieved by a few simple steps, which can have a massive positive impact on our daily lives,” McGovern added.

Tips include ensuring your router is off the ground, using an Ethernet cable to plug directly into your router (this can help with stability, too, as wireless routers can be unreliable at best) and using a range extender, although this will mean extra cost. For complaining to your ISP, keep tabs of your speed over a period of a week using the likes of[1] and take screenshots of the results. Try different times, too, for a bigger picture and use this evidence when contacting customer service.

Keep cool throughout.

The full results of the investigation will be on the Watchdog show at 8pm on Wednesday the 9th of November, 2016 and then iPlayer.


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BT's restructure: What it means for EEMobile News Online

Telecoms giant has announced how it will integrate the mobile operator into its wider business following its 12.5 billion acquisition

BT has laid bare its plans for EE after unveiling corporate restructure plans which will come into effect in April. But what does the restructure mean for EE s 26 million mobile customers, EE s broadband base and EE s partners? Mobile News takes a look:

EEre to stay

After much speculation, BT has announced plans to retain the EE brand. EE, which was launched as an individual brand in 2012 following the launch of its 4G services, has grown massively in brand recognition thanks to a range of ads with Kevin Bacon, along with sponsorship of WEmbley and Glastonbury. BT said it will keep the EE brand, but will use it as it s main consumer mobile hub. It will be one of six divisions within BT, and will be led by CMO Mark Allera, who will replace Olaf Swantee as CEO.

(Give me) EE and TV

Over the last few years, EE has expanded its range of services to include broadband and TV, but BT said it has no plans to axe these additions. Instead, they will continue to be ran under the EE brand.

Will he stay or will he go?

Inevitably, a takeover means there will be changes in management at the operator. CEO Olaf Swantee remains in place for the time being, with EE confirming he will step down later this year. Joining Swantee in his departure will be EE CMO Pippa Dunn and chief financial officer Neal Milsom. Marc Allera will step up to the role of CEO at the EE division of BT.

EE s chief marketing officer (non-consumer mobile) Gerry McQuade has also been given his own division to head up. He will become CEO of BT s Wholesale and Ventures division. EE s CTO Fotis Karonis will also take on a senior role in BT s Technology, Services and Operations division, as well as becoming CIO for EE.

What about B2B?

EE s B2B division will be folded in to BT s new Business and Public Sector division. This will serve businesses of all sizes, plus BT s public sector contracts, and will be headed up by Graham Sutherland. BT has yet to disclose how this fits with EE s existing B2B partners.