The majority, 59% of households – 16 million across the country – experienced some kind of problem with their home Internet connection in the last year, claims consumer watchdog Which?
Three in ten of those affected said the issues made it much more difficult to pay bills online or to use online banking services, and 19% even said that the problems have had a negative financial impact on them, it also says.
“Millions of us [are] frustrated by bad broadband and [are] stopped from doing the simplest of online tasks,” says the organisation’s Managing Director of Home Services, Alex Neill.
“Far too many people are experiencing problems with their broadband across the country,” he added.
The Local Government Association (LGA) came out with a swift response to the findings.
“Access to fast and reliable digital connectivity is increasingly a necessity for households,” its People and Places Board Vice Chair, Cllr Gillian Brown, says on its website today.
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“This research reinforces our warning that advertised broadband speeds, which are only available to 10% of customers are misleading, and often don’t reflect the experience of many users, particularly those in remote rural areas.
“Councils want to ensure everyone has good quality Internet access. As part of our Up to Speed campaign, we have called for greater honesty and openness about the download and upload speeds customers are likely to receive depending on their location.
“Local government has invested more than £740m in the roll-out of Superfast Broadband to over 4m premises across the country and is committed to exploring with the communications industry, regulators and government how best to ensure residents across the country can benefit from public investment in new technology wherever they live.”
The LGA is a membership organisation that acts as the national voice of local government, working with councils to support, promote and improve local government.
That membership roster include 349 English councils, the 22 Welsh councils via the Welsh LGA, 31 fire authorities, 10 national parks and one town council.