More than double the number of UK households are opting for super-fast broadband (more than 60mbps) since the start of the pandemic, according to research from comparethemarket.com.
The study found that households were searching for faster broadband options to cope with working from home: the first month of 2021 saw 80% of households who switched choosing broadband download speeds of more than 60mbps, compared with 34% at the start of 2020.
The increase in uptake of faster broadband packages has been accelerated by the onset of the pandemic and millions of households forced to work from home and attend school online, until recently. In January 2019, only 15% of households were switching to super-fast broadband deals.
The number of households opting for slower download speeds has dramatically dropped when switching provider. In January 2021, only 5% of switches were to packages with download speeds below 30mbps.
Research from comparethemarket.com showed that 38% of households have more people needing to use the internet during working hours than before the pandemic. This is putting pressure on broadband speeds and has caused internet connectivity problems for 48% of households. With more people working from home, and home schooling until recently, access to the internet is more important than ever. The research however found that 29% of households have experienced work disruptions due to internet problems, and online schooling has been disrupted in 18% of households.
Commenting on the findings of the Holly Niblett, head of digital at comparethemarket.com observed that access to a fast and secure internet connection was now an essential part of many people’s everyday lives. "The pandemic has led to a significant increase in the number of households choosing faster broadband packages, as they juggle both their professional and personal lives online. The pressures of sharing an internet connection with family and other people in the house has certainly led to more people searching out a better connection," she said.
“The rollout of fibre broadband has meant more people are able to access a better connection in their homes. However, many people choose not to switch provider and are likely sitting on an out-of-date contract and paying a higher price than they should be. There are good deals to be had so take a few moments to shop around and find the package at a speed and price that works for your household.”