With broadband a political priority ahead of a Christmas General Election, the need for better connectivity could not be clearer, but research from Zen Internet highlights the fears of the nation this festive digital season. Surveying more than 2,000 consumers across Britain Zen found that one in four (28 per cent) households is concerned that too many devices using the WiFi at once could impact the reliability of their connection.
Despite already hosting at least seven devices on their home WiFi, over a third (34 per cent) of respondents are still planning on buying at least one Internet of Things (IoT) device this year. The retail industry is anticipating 2019 will have been a bumper year when it comes to smart home devices with spending expected to exceed £10 billion by the end of the year.
The top four IoT devices expected to be gifted this Christmas:
Consumers need to ensure they have the right broadband service in place to meet increasing bandwidth requirements and also solve ‘not-spot’ issues that could restrict the use of a new device in the room intended.
Brits are also planning to throw open their doors this festive season to welcome friends and family – which is likely to increase the pressures on household broadband. With the average person inviting three people over, and almost one in five (19 per cent) looking to host six or more guests – with each likely bringing their own digital device – the competition for bandwidth could mean people face difficulties streaming, shopping and socialising online this festive season.
Georgina Lord, Managing Director, Zen Retail, said: “With so many new devices set to be connected to the web, it is important that households can experience reliable connectivity whether that be increased speeds or having a wider WiFi reach in the home. This will not only help avoid disappointment with new devices potentially not connecting on Christmas morning, but will also help accommodate connection requirements of extra guests that visit during the festive period.
“Fortunately, there are a number of steps families can take to ensure better speeds and a more reliable WiFi connection around the home. This is a good time to review if your current speeds still meet growing requirements. Or to get rid of any ‘not spot’ issues you may have in your home our EveryRoom service guarantees WiFi connectivity in every part of the house leaving everyone feeling merrily ‘online’ this Christmas,” she added
This Christmas, Zen estimates that 41.8 million Brits (63 per cent) will connect with their loved ones over online calls with 3.9 million (6 per cent) doing so in the bathroom or en-suite. A similar number of Brits (5 per cent) are also likely to stream their favourite show on Netflix or iPlayer over the festive period there. Meanwhile, more than one in ten (11 per cent) will duck family festivities for some secret social media scrolling in the bathroom, with 10 per cent also using the bathroom as a safe space to surf the web for online shopping.
Lord concluded: “This is set to be the most connected Christmas yet with people logging on to a device wherever and whenever they can. From lounge to loft, bathroom to spare bedroom, consumers need to ensure their broadband provider is able to deliver a good connection throughout their home, not just in the perceived popular rooms.”