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Half of UK internet users are not up to speed

Press Release   •   Oct 24, 2017 14:49 BST

  • 52% do not know the speed of broadband they currently receive
  • 48% do not remember the broadband speed that was advertised to them when they bought their package
  • Two in five (40%) of those with slow internet connection take no action and wait for any problems to fix itself

Today it is revealed that half of all UK broadband users1 are not up to speed with their internet, and 48% admit they do not know the broadband speed that was advertised to them when they bought their package. Research explores broadband usage across all suppliers, conducted by the Post Office Broadband.

In a world where the internet is integral to everyday life, over half of all users (52%) have no idea what speed they receive. Many internet users confess to being apathetic when it comes to fixing simple connection problems and increasing their chance of a faster speed. Two in five (40%) suffer from a slow internet connection, 38% have had their connection drop at random times and 22% experience a poor Wi-Fi connection in certain rooms. However, as many as 40% of those who have had a problem do nothing to resolve it and wait to see if it fixes itself.

Despite this, over two thirds (69%) experience frustrations with their broadband, citing buffering (36%), the internet frequently cutting out (19%) and Wi-Fi not connecting in certain rooms (12%) as their main grievances.

Internet usage and impact

97% of Britain are online and almost half of those (48%) spend more than five hours using their home broadband each day. The average UK household has 8 internet enabled devices and nearly three in ten households (29%) include at least one person who works from home. This high demand on usage is resulting in 40% of Brits struggling with slow speeds.

Breakdown of devices connected to main Wi-Fi router in the average household:

  • 59% of homes have 2 or more smartphones
  • 32% have 2 or more tablets
  • 33% have at least 2 laptops
  • 57% of household have smart TV
  • 48% have an games console

With 90% of those who use the internet on a daily basis spending their time checking email, 74% online shopping and 54% watching and streaming, knowing the quality and speed of your Wi-Fi is essential to ensure it can keep up with household needs.

Troubleshooting troubles

Although 41% of people experience connection problems at least once a week, and a further 20% suffer at least once a day, two fifths (40%) do not attempt to fix their problems whatsoever, despite there being several ‘quick fix’ solutions.

Over a quarter of those with a main Wi-Fi router (28%) have placed their router by the TV or an electrical appliance, a move that can really slow your broadband speed. A further 24% have their router by a window, shared wall or at the top of the house, all of which can lead to signal interference.

Meredith Sharples, Director of Telecoms, Post Office comments:

“Our reliance on the internet and how it enables our modern lives means it’s more important than ever to achieve the best possible speed and minimise any problems.

“Our research reveals that many UK households don’t realise that simple adjustments could result in improved internet speeds – for example only 6% of customers have tried moving their router to a new location to improve coverage.

“With so many still struggling with speed we’ve put together some top tips for users to try at home to help improve their service.

Top tips from the Post Office to troubleshoot at home and minimise Wi-Fi frustrations:

Find the best location for your router – move it away from windows, shared walls and electrical appliances

Check your privacy – if you don’t have password protection anyone could use your Wi-Fi and slow your connection down

Remain up-to-date – Updating your browser to a new provider or getting the latest version can really improve your download speed

Signal interference – keep your router away from electrical devices, even unexpected devices & appliances can affect your connection. Baby monitors, fish tanks and Christmas lights can interfere with your signal.

Get up-to-speed - if you have a big household with members who stream, download and game, especially in the evenings, you may just need higher speed. Use Post Office Telecom’s Speed Checker to find out what speed you need -

About the Post Office

Post Office Limited has an unrivalled national network of over 11,600 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of many communities across the country.

It provides around 170 different services and products spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards. Post Office also offers Government services, telephony, foreign currency, travel insurance and mail services.

99.7% of people live within three miles of their nearest Post Office outlet. For many rural communities the Post Office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices remain highly valued and trusted and are the focal point for many communities. For more information, visit