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Calls for 'guaranteed' broadband speeds as study shows 3 in 5 suffer from bad service

New survey from consumer group Which? calls for stricter guarantees of broadband quality

A new survey suggests that British broadband companies are consistently failing to deliver on the broadband speeds and connection quality they promise customers.

Consumer group Which? surveyed a representative 2,012 adults in the UK, with around three in five (63 per cent) of respondents saying that they experience problems with their broadband.

Nearly half (45 per cent) said that they suffered slow download speeds, with 58 per cent of these saying that they experienced these problems frequently or all the time,

 “The internet is an essential part of modern life, yet millions of us are getting frustratingly slow speeds and having to wait days to get reconnected when things go wrong,” said Which? Executive director Richard Lloyd.

“It’s less superfast broadband, more super slow service from companies who are expecting people to pay for speeds they may never get. Broadband providers need to give customers the right information and take responsibility for resolving problems.”

Which? are calling on broadband providers to  agree to greater transparency involving the internet speeds they sell to customers, offering estimated averages rather than optimistic “up to” figures.

Independent regulator Ofcom already has a voluntary code of practice for broadband speeds that it says protects customers.  More than 25 ISPs have signed up to the code including the big four providers – BT, Virgin Media, Sky and TalkTalk.

A spokeswoman for the industry watchdog said that although there were areas where the code “might be strengthened further” overall it was happy that the code is “working effectively” according to tests by mystery shoppers.

Andrew Ferguson of thinkbroadband.com recommends that customers use a speed test to reveal information about their connection, saying “You should get a consistent result for speeds and if it shows you can sustain an average of more than 5 Mbps then video buffering is likely to be down to other factors beyond the broadband connection to your broadband provider.”