Some of the UK’s biggest broadband suppliers including BT and Virgin Media are now offering ultra-fast connections that have the ability to whizz a full HD movie to a TV in under 40 seconds or a massive PS5 blockbuster to consoles in around 10 minutes. Blisteringly quick 1Gbps speeds are rolling out across the country at a rapid rate and offer downloads that are 30-times faster than the current UK average.
That all sounds pretty impressive and, with so many of us now working from home, having a 1Gbps connection could become vital in the future. However, despite huge investment in this new technology, it appears most consumers have no idea they are able to access it.
According to a new report from Which? 6 in 10 consumers not yet aware of gigabit-capable broadband.
Which? found that many broadband users are baffled by some of the terminology used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the confusion makes it hard to know which service is best. For example, some ISPs say they offer “fibre” speeds when this is actually a mix of slower older copper cables and more advanced fibre-optic technology.
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For example, Virgin Media offers 100Mbps speeds for £25 per month whereas its 1Gbps option will set you back over £60. That’s a high price to pay for internet access but it could be worth the cash if you live in a busy home.
One thing to remember is that the internet in your home is a bit like a motorway. The more traffic that runs through it the slower it can get. This basically means that if your kids are downloading huge PS5 games and watching Disney+ in 4K whilst you are in the morning Teams meeting things can start to struggle.
That’s where 1Gbps speeds come into their own as they can cope with far greater traffic passing through them.
Speaking about the research, Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, and chair of the Gigabit Take-up Advisory Group, said: “Digital connectivity has never been more important, with the pandemic highlighting how dependent consumers are on a good broadband connection for daily activities, such as remote working, access to services and keeping in touch with family and friends.
“Demand for faster, more reliable broadband services is crucial to the success of the roll-out of gigabit-capable broadband, and to ensure the benefits of these connections are realised. Better information about the benefits, measures to improve the language used to describe these services, along with possible targeted voucher and discount schemes, will help to address the barriers preventing consumers from benefiting from better connections.”
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