Research: 3.5min to notice WiFi is down

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With 96 per cent of UK households having access to the internet, and 90 per cent stating they wouldn’t be able to cope without it, comparethemarket.com carried out an experiment to reveal just how dependent Brits are on the internet as a nation, and how long it takes them to notice when WiFi drops.

comparethemarket.com ran an experiment which involved asking households to turn off their broadband throughout one week at different times of the day and log how long, on average, it took for another member of their household to notice they couldn’t access the WiFi.

It only took 3.5 minutes, on average, for people to notice the WiFi was down. Surprisingly, it took slightly longer for households with children to notice at 4.1 minutes. Many children panicked about YouTube and Netflix not working, or the fact they couldn’t play Animal Crossing.

Broadband connection issues can be extremely frustrating, particularly now when so many people are working from home. Some 89 per cent of people use the internet every day and, with around a third (30 per cent) owning five or more connected devices, fast broadband speeds have never been more important.

Internet usage seems to have peaked throughout the lockdown period with three-quarters (73 per cent) of Brits stating they’ve been using their household connection more than usual. However, over a third (35 per cent) claim they’re experiencing worse performance than they did pre-lockdown, and four in ten (41 per cent) people living with three or more people say their connection has decreased the most during the lockdown.

Holly Niblett, head of digital at comparethemarket.com commented: “Lockdown has unsparingly  seen a surge in the number of people relying on the internet for work and leisure. There is a wide disparity in connection speeds and access to superfast broadband across the country. Our broadband speed test tool allows people to see how fast their broadband speed is and what better deals are available in their area because, for many households, a fast download speed is a deal-breaker when it comes to choosing a provider. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we have seen a steep rise in the number of customers switching online to the fastest packages during lockdown.”

 


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