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Confusion over availability is hampering take-up of superfast broadband

Broadband research has suggested that superfast broadband is the new norm and that confusion over availability has prevented us from making use of it.
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We’ve reached the point of saying the majority of UK premises have superfast broadband. That’s according to the government, which has suggested 91 per cent have connection speeds of over 24M a second. So unlike most believe, could confusion over availability, not price, be delaying take-up?

The concept of confusion over availability came to light after ISPreview.co.uk queried 1,970 Brits on why they hadn’t switched to superfast broadband. Some 51 per cent believed it hadn’t been made available to them, while 20 per cent deemed it too expensive.

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In the mean time, two per cent admitted the whole scenario confused them and the same amount claimed to be stuck in an old contract. Some seven per cent were waiting for an even faster option to appear.

Of this, ISPreview.co.uk’s founder, Mark Jackson, said: “It’s interesting to note how 51 per cent said superfast connectivity wasn’t available to them, which is despite UK coverage reaching over 91 per cent. It gives rise to the topic of confusion over availability.

“One of the problems with availability is that sometimes a faster network might exist but this could easily be overlooked because people might not be aware of just how much choice really exists in their area.”

A common mistake, he explained, was to merely assume broadband is part of one network. That’s not the case. For example, while BT, Sky and TalkTalk predominantly use Openreach’s fixed line infrastructure, Virgin Media has its own cable network. But as a direct result of such confusion, ISPreveiew claimed, numerous Brits stopped searching for a faster alternative.

“Suffice to say that consumers should cast their net a bit wider and run availability checks,” Jackson said.

It doesn’t hurt to look, and who knows, maybe you could soon find your premises has superfast broadband after all.

This article is part of our Real Business Broadband campaign, which seeks to provide a mouthpiece for business leaders to vocalise the broadband issues preventing their businesses from reaching full potential. We’d love to hear your take on the debate and where you think the UK needs to make drastic changes. Get in touch via email (shane.schutte@realbusiness.co.uk) or join in on the action using #rbBroadband.

Image: Shutterstock

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Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is a senior reporter at Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

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