Confusion over fibre broadband leads to slow take up

8 Feb, 2015

Superfast broadband speeds can now be accessed by almost eight in 10  households says Ofcom, and yet confusion reigns over which providers offer fibre services, where these are available and the benefits of fibre, according to new research from uSwitch.

The Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, alongside industry investment, has made superfast services widely available, but figures show that only around a quarter of UK consumers are using fibre broadband.

uSwitch’s research suggests consumers with standard broadband are confused about what is available to them, as less than a third think they can get superfast speeds at home and more than four in 10 have no idea if it is available in their area.

Rural broadband users – who typically suffer most from sluggish speeds – are far more likely to be clued up regarding availability of fibre broadband. Just 28% of rural users had no idea whether superfast broadband was available in their local area, compared to 44% in urban and 52% in suburban areas.

A spokesman for uSwitch said: “As the majority of us become heavy or moderate internet users, we expect even more from our internet connections. With 42% of households regularly using three or more gadgets on Wi-Fi at once, there’s never been a greater need for faster speeds in UK homes.

“Despite significant investment in superfast broadband, this research shows awareness – over whether you can get fibre broadband, and who offers it – is still one of the biggest barriers to enjoying superfast speeds. Many people are willing to spend extra each month for faster internet, but don’t know whether or not it is available in their area.

“Consumers who are interested in superfast broadband should do their research to make sure they are considering all available providers. Using tools such as a postcode checker will allow you to see which providers offer fibre in your area and what speeds you can receive before you commit.