Fear of broadband blackouts means internet-reliant Brits miss out on £327 million in savings a year

31 Jan, 2017

More than a third (35%) of UK broadband users who’ve experienced a period of internet access when they tried moving providers in the past say the thought of being without internet has put them off doing it again, according to new research by uSwitch. Yet those consumers are missing out on collective savings of £327 million a year. The average saving just for switching provider is £9.80 per month, but almost one in 10 (8%) customers save more than £240 a year.

Our dependency on broadband – a now essential service – is apparent when you consider a quarter of Brits (25%) now rely on their internet connections to work from home, a figure that rises to more than a third (34%) among under 35s. This might explain why little more than one in 10 (11%) has switched broadband provider within the past year and why more than a fifth (22%) have not moved in over five years. More than a third (35%) have never switched provider.

Of the 55% who have reported being without broadband between providers, the average length of downtime is 1.4 days. One in 10 (10%) report spending one to two weeks without broadband while 6% had to wait longer than three weeks. Regionally, internet users in London wait the longest for broadband switch-on – an average of 2.3 days.

Almost a third (32%) of those who experienced a gap in service say their broadband switch-on date was not delayed and that their wait was standard or faster than the time specified by the new provider.

Ewan Taylor-Gibson from uSwitch says: “You should generally allow around two weeks from the point of sale to get your new broadband installed. However, if this is delayed, or you’re forced to live without internet, now deemed an essential service, you have every right to be incensed. At the very least, it can be irritating for those who enjoy internet TV services, but it can also seriously impact those who are isolated, work from home or need access to critical services online.

“Unless you’re switching providers on the same existing line – a transfer that can happen automatically on the same day – there is often an element of physical installation involved. There are a range of factors that can hold up the installation process – such as if you need a new Openreach home phone line installed, or if you’re signing up to Virgin and your property hasn’t yet been connected to their cable network. These potential delays should be factored in when looking to switch.