Buffering Britain: 16 Percent of East of England Residents Wait Over Half an Hour for a Simple Web Page to Load
Almost a fifth of people living in the East of England are waiting more than thirty minutes every time they load a web page, whilst more than one in 20 are left buffering for up to two and a half hours, according to new research into UK broadband speeds.
This equates to an incredible three and a half days of waiting per month for the average East of England resident.
For those living in rural areas, the problem is even more severe, with one HD film taking an average of 55 minutes to download – almost twice as long as in urban areas.
The study, commissioned by ultrafast rural broadband provider, Gigaclear, found that 61 percent of residents in the East of England regularly have problems with their internet, with over 30 percent losing connection entirely several times a week, and almost one in twenty losing access every single day.
This is having significant consequences given so many of the population are having to work from home currently, with many failing to receive important emails, being late to make payments, and even left unable to complete job applications due to poor broadband performance. Brits also reported missing out on the sale of houses, important delivery slots and work deadlines as a result of internet woes.
It is, therefore, no wonder that the issue is having a significant impact on people’s mental wellbeing, with one in ten UK adults admitting to feeling very stressed every single time they use their internet. With the average Brit using the internet for almost five hours each working day, this means that many are feeling stressed for almost half the day, every day, due to poor broadband.
Broadband stresses are also having a negative impact on relationships, with a quarter of Brits admitting that broadband speeds have had a detrimental effect on their family lives. 17 percent in the region say the internet has had a negative effect on their finances, with many also feeling the effect on their careers and their physical health.
It is perhaps, therefore, no wonder that some have gone to extreme lengths to tackle poor broadband performance, with some families moving to a new house just to improve their access to working internet. Almost a fifth of Brits have considered funding the necessary improvement themselves, whilst one in 10 have introduced family rotas for internet usage to reduce stress levels.
Despite these frustrations, the study shows 27 percent of UK households have a minimum of three people using the internet at any one time, which is only antagonising the problem, causing stress levels to rise.
Gareth Williams, CEO at Gigaclear, comments: “When broadband goes ‘down’ it hits the headlines, but for many, especially in rural areas, there’s no functional broadband to begin with. What this research clearly demonstrates is the significant impact that poor broadband speeds are having on people’s lives. Given the majority of the British workforce is at home, either working or on furlough, the pressures on the internet continue to increase. That being said, there is a huge gap between expectations and performance. Modern consumers have come to expect a certain level of connectivity, but for some broadband providers, the strain this is putting on performance is too much, and they simply can’t keep up. This needs to change.”
Adding to this pressure is the fact that, on average, Brits have six different smart devices connected to their internet at any one time. The most common devices are laptops (54 percent), followed by phones (50 percent) and tablets (48 percent). However, the research shows that UK consumers are now utilising a huge range of devices to create a truly connected home, including smart TVs, doorbells, fridges, hidden cameras, smart locks and even lawn mowers.
Gareth Williams concludes: “Broadband should be a platform for good – it helps families stay in touch, allows people to work from home, keeps rural communities connected, and so much more. So, it is vital that buffering is made a thing of the past, no matter where in the UK you live. Internet-related stress has no place in today’s society, and that’s why we’re working hard to ensure that future generations will not have to experience these types of frustrations.”