BBC Watchdog: 90% of Brits might never get top broadband speeds

BBC Watchdog has conducted an investigation into the state of British broadband, the results of which will be shown in an episode on Wednesday 9 November. It reveals that 90% of people in the UK might never get top speeds from their internet connection.

The Watchdog team asked selected families to use a speed tester to measure how fast their broadband connection really was. They also installed white boxes in eleven houses, which tested the speed several times a week to get a general sense of the speed of their connection.

The speed test results showed that two in three families weren't receiving the top speeds advertised. Which, frankly, isn't a surprise - the current rules allow providers to advertise speeds that at least 10% of customers can get, so it follows that the majority won't get those speeds.

Still not everyone's aware of that fact, so there's value in reminding them. As Watchdog's Steph McGovern says: "Consumers should be getting the broadband speeds they are paying for and I want to make the nation aware of these 'up to' speed claims. Enhanced broadband speed can be achieved by a few simple steps, which can have a massive positive impact on our daily lives."

It wasn't just the rural users who saw slow speeds either - some areas of cities also struggled for a decent connection. And unsatisfactory performance seems to be commonplace across the country. The research team conducted a nationwide poll about broadband and found that nearly a third of people in the UK have complained to their provider about connection speed.

Sadly, only one in ten said their connection speed increased after they complained. A similar number said there was no difference before they complained and after.

There's lots more interesting stuff in the report. Not all of it will shock you - rural areas have more broadband problems than urban ones, for example - but it's still worth highlighting on the telly.

BBC Watchdog was on BBC One, Wednesday 9 November at 8pm. If you missed it, you can catch up with it for a month on BBC iPlayer.

Read more broadband, TV and mobile news

Suggested Pages

  • Compare broadband without a landline

  • TalkTalk broadband review

  • Boost your internet and Wi-Fi: Top tips for faster broadband

  • Can I get fibre optic broadband in my area?

  • BT Complete Wi-Fi - is it any good?

  • Can I get Virgin Media in my area?

Compare broadband, TV & landline deals