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17 million Brits experienced broadband disruption in 2023 - survey

Research from Uswitch claims that 17 million people in the UK faced disruption to their broadband services this year, with an average an average of 33 outages which lasted for three or more hours.

Andrew Wooden

December 20, 2023

2 Min Read

Broadband customers reported the most disruption at 11am on a Friday or Wednesday, with the next most unreliable times being between 6pm and 9pm, 2pm and 3pm or 10am, according to the survey.

Broadband provider outages were cited as the top reason for the disconnections, followed by 42% for power cuts, 18% for planned maintenance to external cables, and 17% for router issues.

Nottingham was the most likely place to suffer an outage, followed by Liverpool, Brighton and Plymouth.

Apparently 10% of ‘frustrated customers’ would switch their broadband provider if they were not in contract, which provides the segue for Uswitch to point out that ‘One Touch Switch’ will not meet its target launch date of 14 March 2024, and that the industry needs to ‘urgently step up’ next year.

“2023 has been a tough year for broadband customers,“ said Ernest Doku, broadband expert at Uswitch. “They’ve had to put up with high inflation-linked mid-contract price rises and, while outages are hard to avoid entirely, it seems many haven’t received the reliable service they hope to expect. And now, we’re finishing the year with warnings from the industry that a long-promised faster switching process, One Touch Switch, won’t be ready for the new target date - with no end in sight to the delays. 

“It’s so important that the industry can offer seamless switching so customers don’t end up paying over the odds simply as the process seems like too much effort. Customers deserve better and the industry needs to urgently step up in 2024. We’re calling for the industry to set a new target date for One Touch Switch, and for providers to invest the appropriate resources into making it happen as soon as possible.” 

Earlier this year, Uswitch claimed that broadband outages effecting home workers cost the UK economy £1.3 billion over the previous year. 10% of those surveyed said they were more likely to go into the office as they didn’t trust their home connection, while 8% felt they had missed out on jobs or promotions due to flaky broadband.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins Telecoms.com on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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