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Switchers to super-fast broadband double in lockdown

Written by: Emma Lunn
More than double the number of households are opting for super-fast broadband since the start of the pandemic, according to Compare the Market.

Data from the price comparison site shows that four in five (80%) households are now switching to super-fast broadband packages (more than 60mbps), compared to only a third at the start of 2020. In January 2019, only 15% of households were switching to super-fast broadband deals.

The increase in the uptake of faster home internet services has been accelerated by the onset of the pandemic with millions of households forced to work from home or learn online.

According to Compare the Market, the number of households opting for slower download speeds when switching provider has dramatically dropped. In January 2021, only 5% of switches were to packages with download speeds below 30mbps.

Superfast broadband is not only becoming more popular but also more affordable. Over the course of 2020, the average cost of a superfast broadband and phone package fell by 6%, from £28.71 to £27.09 a month.

Research from Compare the Market shows that more than a third (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 half (48%) of households.

The research found that nearly a third (29%) of households have experienced work disruptions due to internet problems, and online schooling has been disrupted in 18% of households.

Holly Niblett, head of digital at Compare the Market, said: “Access to a fast and secure internet connection is 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.

“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 However, many people choose not to switch provider and are likely sitting on an out-of-date contract and paying a higher price than they should be.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.”

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