Slow and Unstable: The Most Common Broadband Complaints

local broadband, fast broadband, Worthing broadbandNow that we’re using broadband to power all of our media consumption, from TV to social media, podcasts, even downloading books we can read when we’re not doing ‘screen time’ it’s more important than ever that we have high speed, reliable connectivity. It’s also why it’s so infuriating when we don’t get what we need.

And now that many of us live with robot helpers who carry out mundane functions around the house, such as Smart Home Security cameras and sensors, Smart Speakers, and Smart environmental controls the need for reliable data has never been greater. Smart devices may not use much, but to work properly data needs to be constantly available.

As many as half of all broadband customers have experienced at least some disruption to their broadband service over the last year, according to a survey conducted by Which?, the champion of consumer rights magazine.

Their survey took in 4,000 consumers and found that much lower than expected speeds, dropping out, complete internet outages and problems with routers were among the most perennial problems people were likely to have.

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Signal frequently dropping out was the most common complaint among customers, followed by very slow speeds. When all the internet was for was looking at websites and checking email slow, unreliable service was frustrating, but not nearly as frustrating as buffering every few seconds when you’re trying to watch a movie or trying to keep up to date with live sports or news events.

Router problems also featured highly in problems people experienced from their ISP, with some breaking down and not being usable again for an hour or more.

Along with problems getting enough data down the line and into the home, over a third of respondents said they’d had poor customer service experiences over the past year. Then there’s the price increase which all the main broadband companies increased in March meaning that there are a lot of unhappy people who are suffering with substandard speeds and support from their broadband provider.

Getting the broadband speeds you’re expecting

In many cases if you’re not getting the speeds or stability you were expecting when you signed up to the service you have several routes of recourse, provided you can get through to your service provider! In the first place if they can provide the speeds you were expecting by changing your tariff or delivery method (upgrading you from ADSL to Full Fibre for example) then they should do that, but if they are unable to give you what you were expecting at all then they should let you leave your current contract without applying any early termination penalties.

There are instances where you can do something to improve speeds yourself. Some are technical, such as moving your router to a central point in the home to ensure coverage is as even as possible and using specialist router cable instead of a phone extension cord. If you have a lot of connected device it is worth considering turning the least frequently used ones off so they don’t create unnecessary demand on the network, and connecting to the internet via a cable instead of Wi-Fi when you’re using a desktop or laptop computer whenever you can.

Mesh networks won’t improve speed, but they will mean better coverage if there are areas in the home where it’s impossible to get Wi-Fi reception.

Sometime turning it off and on again doesn’t help!

While it’s a good idea to turn frequently unused Smart devices off, the router is a different story. Turning it off when not in use makes it appear to the data provider that there is a disconnection, and they may reduce the amount of data being passed through your line to make it more reliable.

You might want to look at getting a new router too, especially if you’ve had your current device for a long time or it’s the free one you got with your subscription when you first joined your current provider. The routers you get free with your contract are perfectly adequate when they’re installed, but they’re never top-of-the-line, and invariably there are better choices available if you’ve had yours for some time and you’re prepared to pay for your new device.

If you’ve tried all of these and your connection is still slow then it’s probably time to change broadband provider. You might think “Well, if Company A can’t get me adequate broadband, why should Company B be able to?” but not all broadband companies are created equal! There are several delivery methods which can be tried, and initiatives which most, but not all broadband service providers have access to.

Options that broadband ISPs have range from ADSL, FTTC, FTTP and Full Fibre. If you want Full Fibre but you’re don’t currently have the infrastructure in your area you could be eligible for connection under the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. Talk to your neighbours and see if they’re interested too, as the more people in a particular area who express interest, the higher priority your case will receive.

If you’ve already passed the minimum term on your contract then changing provider is simple, you just need to find a new broadband provider and sign up with them. If you’re changing from ADSL to Full Fibre then their engineers may need to connect the last few metres of fibre from the street to your home and install a new router, however this is usually a quick process which can be carried out in less than half an hour at most homes.

As mentioned above, if you’re still within your minimum term and you’re still not getting what you expect from your package you have the right to demand improvement or be released from your contract. Talk to your current provider first, and when they let you out, talk to Briant Broadband. We promise to get you connected to the internet within 48 hours of your call or we’ll give you a month’s broadband free of charge.

Briant Broadband have a range of packages which range from 100 Mbps at £22 per month, ideal for the average user who enjoys streaming movies, shopping online and browsing the internet right up to 900 Mbps ultrafast Full Fibre internet for £40 per month. Our ultrafast option allows you to stream or download full HD movies, play online games, share files and music all at the same time without any lag or buffering.

To find out more about Briant Broadband, the packages we provide, and to see if your area Full Fibre or wireless broadband availability, visit our website, mail us at or call on 01903 221999

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