Efforts to equip every home and business in the UK with gigabit-capable full fibre broadband are urgently needed if the result of one new survey are any indication, as it has been claimed more than four out of ten people currently face issues with slow speeds.
This is according to research by ISP Zen Internet, which found poor performance is the number one technical difficulty experienced by UK residents. Some 42 per cent of consumers cited this as their biggest issue, ahead of problems such as Wi-Fi dropping out (25 per cent) and internet outages (23 per cent).
The result of this is that people spend an average of more than an hour a week troubleshooting issues, which led Zen to declare that the UK has become a 'nation of IT managers'.
Richard Tang, founder and chairman of Zen, said: "Access to a fast and reliable internet service has become a pivotal part of everyday life. However, UK consumers are often let down with slow speeds and poor reliability."
Connectivity issues cause a range of problems for consumers around the country. For instance, almost a third (31 per cent) said they have been left unable to access critical online banking services, while more than one in eight (15 per cent) stated they had lost crucial documents for work.
However, even if faster, more reliable fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband does become widely available, there is no guarantee that is will be used. Earlier this year, BT reported the takeup rate for FTTP stood at 29.9 per cent.
This may be due to the price premium that such services require, or a lack of awareness from end users about what it is and the benefits they could enjoy.
For instance, several full fibre operators have called on the Advertising Standards Authority to ban the use of the word 'fibre' for offerings that still rely on copper for part of the journey, as this may confuse consumers into believing they have full fibre when this is not the case. However, so far the regulator has refused to do this.