Half of Brits baffled by broadband jargon

At broadbandchoices.co.uk we’re proud to do things differently - we speak only plain English everyone can understand - but providers love using technical speak, which can leave you feeling lost. And it could also see you paying way too much for your broadband…

If you don't speak the lingo, shopping for broadband can be a daunting task as providers often use technical jargon to describe what their packages offer.

According to our research, common broadband-related terms such as 'traffic management' and 'megabit' are so confusing to millions of Brits they're forking out as much as £100 more than necessary for broadband every year.

In our survey of 2,000 internet users, 46% said they don't understand the majority of words used to describe their broadband package. More than half admitted they've probably paid more than they needed to by choosing a deal that didn't suit their needs.

Faced with a typical broadband advert, almost 60% of Brits think that 'up to 16Mb' refers to how much they're allowed to download, when it actually reflects the maximum download speed of a package.

Dominic Baliszewski, one of our broadband experts, said: "Broadband customers should be empowered to make an informed decision when they spend their money, which is why the results of this survey are worrying.

"Broadband is an essential utility for the majority of households nowadays, but it's being overcomplicated with a lot of unnecessary techno-jargon, which, to most people, might as well be a foreign language.

"As a result, customers are either making mistakes when it comes to signing up to a new broadband deal, or they're simply staying put on a package that's completely unsuitable for them because they're bewildered by broadband terminology.

"We'd like to see clearer, upfront pricing that combines package costs with line rental instead of separating them out and simplified language in advertising."

Chrissie Maher, founder of the Plain English Campaign, an independent group fighting for the use of plain English in public communications, said: "Businesses must stop hiding behind technical jargon in order to baffle customers; the broadband sector in particular needs to realise that customers want straightforward information presented clearly and simply.

"We applaud broadbandchoices.co.uk for this initiative and will be interested to hear about the response they get to this service."

To learn the basics, read our jargon buster for a clear, plain English explanation of some of the most common broadband-related terms.

Click here to learn the basics of broadband

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