Skip to main content

UK broadband statistics, 2022

Since the birth of the World Wide Web in 1989 by Tim Berners Lee, the internet has become a vital tool for information, communication, and entertainment alike.
Share this guide
An image featuring a mobile phone mast on the right-hand side, with the words "UK broadband statistics 2022" and "Uswitch" on the left-hand side.
UK Broadband statistics 2022

With streaming being a popular way to watch TV and listen to music, as well as working from home becoming the norm, reliable broadband is now a necessity for the majority of households across the UK.

But how accessible is broadband in the UK and beyond? We’ve collated the latest UK broadband statistics for 2022, covering broadband access, usage, speed, cost, and more.

Compare broadband deals to ensure you get the best broadband for your needs.

Broadband connection statistics

How many people access the internet in the UK?

Over the years, the share of households with access to a “decent” broadband connection has grown steadily.

Data from Ofcom’s latest Connected Nations Report discovered that 99.7% of households in the UK had access to a decent connection as of January 2022, up one per cent from the last report in September 2021.

What is decent broadband? 

Decent broadband is described as having a download speed of at least 10 Mbit/s and an upload speed of at least 1 Mbit/s.

A breakdown of access to at least 10 Mbit/s services (2021-2022)
Access to full fibreMay 2021September 2021January 2022
UK98%98%99%
England99%99%99%
Northern Ireland95%95%96%
Scotland97%97%97%
Wales97%97%98%

Source: Ofcom

The number of properties (both residential and commercial) that cannot receive a decent broadband service from a fixed line stands at around 506,000 (2%), dropping from 650,000 in December 2021.

A breakdown of homes and businesses unable to access decent broadband services (2021-2022)
Access to full fibreMay 2021September 2021January 2022
UK0.40%0.40%0.30%
England0.30%0.20%0.20%
Northern Ireland2%2%2%
Scotland1%1%1%
Wales1%1%0.70%

Source: Ofcom

What percentage of the UK has gigabit broadband?

The number of homes able to get gigabit-capable broadband continues to increase, with nearly 19.3 million homes (66% of all UK homes) now able to access these faster services — up from 13.7 million (47%) in December 2021.

This has, in part, been driven by the rollout of full-fibre broadband and Virgin Media O2 making its network entirely gigabit-capable.

A breakdown of access to gigabit-capable broadband services (2021-2022)
Access to full fibreMay 2021September 2021January 2022
UK40%47%66%
England38%46%67%
Northern Ireland73%76%82%
Scotland47%51%60%
Wales30%36%46%

Source: Ofcom

What percentage of the UK has full fibre broadband?

Full fibre coverage continues to increase, with a third (33%) of homes having access to full fibre services at the beginning of 2022. As a result, full fibre coverage sits at just under 9.6 million, an increase from 8.2 million (28%) homes in December 2021.

This has been bolstered through deployments by larger fibre infrastructure operators, and supported by smaller providers up and down the UK that serve individual regions.

A breakdown of access to full fibre broadband (2021-2022)
Access to full fibreMay 2021September 2021January 2022
UK24%28%33%
England23%27%31%
Northern Ireland67%71%79%
Scotland23%27%32%
Wales24%27%32%

Source: Ofcom

What percentage of the UK has superfast broadband?

Superfast broadband coverage continues to slowly grow — albeit at a reduced pace compared to gigabit and full fibre — with coverage remaining at 96% of all UK homes. This slow progress is likely due to the increased rollout of full fibre and gigabit-capable connections UK-wide.

A breakdown of access to superfast broadband services (2021-2022)
Access to full fibreMay 2021September 2021January 2022
UK96%96%96%
England96%96%97%
Northern Ireland90%91%92%
Scotland94%94%94%
Wales94%94%95%

Source: Ofcom

What about fixed wireless access networks and wireless internet service providers?

Aside from gigabit, full fibre, and superfast, broadband services are also available from Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) networks provided via mobile networks, or through Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs).

Latest Ofcom data shows that FWA coverage from mobile networks is available to 94% of premises in the UK, and around 7% can receive a decent broadband service from a WISP.

A breakdown of access to fixed wireless (2021-2022)
Access to full fibreMay 2021September 2021January 2022
UK Mobile Network Operators (MNO)93%94%94%
UK Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP)6%7%7%

Source: Ofcom

Bearing in mind the broadband coverage estimates provided by FWA providers, it is estimated that there are still around 99,500 premises that do not have access to a decent broadband service from a fixed network or an FWA network at the beginning of 2022.

Rural broadband statistics

Understandably, average UK broadband speeds in rural areas tend to be considerably slower than those in urban areas. In 2020, the average speed in rural areas was 54 Mbit/s compared to 81 Mbit/s in urban areas.

This is because superfast broadband is less available in the countryside, and buildings are typically further away from cabinets, where long copper line connections cause slower performance.

Based on these speeds, a household with an average broadband speed in rural areas downloading a typical 858MB film (via On Demand) would take around 2 minutes and 15 seconds, compared to 1 minute and 30 seconds for those in urban areas. For a household with a decent download speed (10 Mbit/s average download speed), the download time jumps to 12 minutes.

In 2020, 0.9% of premises in rural areas could not access a decent broadband service (delivering an average download speed of 10 Mbit/s), compared with just 0.3 per cent of premises in urban areas

Urban vs rural broadband statistics
An infographic highlighting four key differences between urban and rural broadband, including speed, download time, access to a decent broadband service, and superfast broadband availability.

Broadband access statistics, by age

Age of internet users in the UK vs the world

UK

In the UK in 2020, 92.1% of the population aged 16 and over used the internet. As expected, this number has continued to grow over time, increasing from 79.4% a decade earlier—a rise of 16%.

Over the last 10 years, 16-to-24-year-olds used the internet the most, except for 2019 when 25-to-34-year-olds finished highest with 0.2% more users. This was short-lived, though, as 16-to-24-year-olds regained the top spot. As of 2020, the largest proportion of internet users came from the 16-24 and 25-35 age groups, with a share of 99.5% each.

Internet connections in households with one adult aged 65 years and over have increased since 2019 to 80%, however, these households still have the lowest proportion of internet connections overall.

A breakdown of internet users in the UK by age group (2020)
A line graph showing a breakdown of internet users in the UK by age group from 2011 to 2020.

Worldwide 

In 2021, just over a third of internet users were aged between 25 and 34 years old, making up the largest share of online users around the globe. 18 to 24-year-olds contribute just under a quarter of online users worldwide, and 35 to 44-year-olds take up almost 19%.

The global digital population aged 65 or older represented approximately 5.5% of all internet users worldwide.

A breakdown of internet users worldwide by age group (2021)
A graphic showing the global penetration rate by region, as of April 2022. Northern Europe leads the way.

As of April 2022, Northern Europe had the highest internet penetration rate, with 98% of the population having access to the internet. Western Europe followed closely behind, with 94%.

Asia has the largest internet user base, with an estimated 2.7 billion internet users hailing from the region (this can be explained by its global population share). East Asia contributed the majority with an online penetration rate of close to 73% as of April 2022 — just above the global average of 63%. Despite this, Asia is far from being a leader in regard to online penetration.

Fixed broadband internet subscriptions around the world (2021)
A table showing the breakdown of fixed broadband internet subscriptions around the world by household in 2021.

Globally, almost one in three households have access to the internet via a fixed broadband connection. When broken down by region, however, Europe leads the way. Over 86% of European households have a fixed Internet connection, followed in second place by The Americas, with almost 80%.

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) represent those countries formed through the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Just over three-quarters of these households have a fixed Internet connection, compared to almost 72% of those located in Asia and the Pacific. 

The Arab States refer to the 22 Arab nations, who are members of the Arab League, and span across North Africa and the Middle East. Just over half of these households (56%) have access to the internet via fixed broadband, which is below the global average of 65.79%. 

Less than 3% of African households have access to a fixed broadband Internet connection, which highlights the infrastructural chasm between the developed and the developing parts of our world.

Despite this, it's worth noting that the number of households with a fixed broadband connection in the Arab States and Africa could be significantly lower than in other regions because they rely on other types of broadband to access the internet, such as mobile broadband or satellite.

Broadband speed statistics

Uswitch classifies* broadband speeds into the following four main categories:

  • Standard broadband: Uses ADSL technology to provide average download speeds of around 10-11 Mbps.

  • Superfast broadband: Uses fibre-optic cables to deliver a range of speeds, from 30-100 Mbps.

  • Ultrafast broadband: Delivers speeds between 100-1000 Mbps.

  • Gigabit broadband: Providing internet speeds of 1000Mbps (1Gbps) and above.

The criteria for a “decent” broadband service is generally described as having a download speed of at least 10 Mbit/s and an upload speed of at least 1 Mbit/s. This is what you usually get with a standard broadband package, and enables you to carry out tasks like browsing the internet, online shopping, and sending emails. 

*This is based on what broadband providers refer to in their products.

Average broadband connection speeds

As of 2021, the median average internet speed in the UK was 50.4 Mbps. This is a sharp increase of 40% from five years earlier, when the average was just 36 Mbps.

The increase has largely been driven by the increased rollout of ultrafast broadband and full fibre across the country, which delivers internet speeds of 100 Mbps and higher. A third (33%) of the UK can now access these connections, which explains why the average is faster than what most properties can actually get.

A breakdown of average broadband speed over the last five years (2017-2021)
A bar chart showing how the average download and upload speed has varied from 2017 to 2021.

Average download speeds by time of day

Average download speeds tend to slow during busy periods when broadband networks suffer the effects of—what’s known as—contention. In plain terms, this means competition for resources.

Across all connections, the average daily minimum speed (46.2 Mbit/s) was 90% of the average maximum speed (51.1 Mbit/s), while the average 8-10 pm peak-time speed (49.9 Mbit/s) was 98% of the average maximum.

Median average UK broadband speeds by time of day (Mbit/s, 2021)
A bar chart showing the median average broadband speed by time of day in the UK in 2021.

Fixed broadband speeds vs reported internet speeds

Interested in finding out the difference between fixed broadband package speeds and the reported internet speeds, Uswitch analysed Ofcom fixed broadband performance data from homes across the UK. We obtained data on the region, internet service provider (ISP), broadband connection, and peak recorded download speeds from over 3,300 homes with fixed broadband. From this, we found the listed average download speeds for broadband connections in each home using each ISP website. 

The percentage difference between the listed ISP broadband download speeds versus the connection’s reported peak download speed was then calculated for each ISP, broadband package, and UK region*.

Internet service providers

Virgin had the highest average download speed of all internet service providers analysed, with a difference of 97.58%. The only other ISP with an average download speed of 90% or more is Zen, with 90.67%. Comparatively, TalkTalk’s average download speed is just 81.39%.

Internet service providerAverage download speed (%)
Virgin97.58
Zen90.67
BT88.74
Plusnet87.72
EE86.09
Sky83.98
Vodafone83.74
TalkTalk81.39

Source: Uswitch

ISP broadband packages

We found that three out of five broadband connections from Virgin Media had a higher average download speed than stated in their package. Virgin’s M500 cable connection lists its package speed as 516 Mbit/s, but the average download speed reported via Ookla reaches 540.35 Mbit/s.

A similar story can be said for BT, with its broadband download speeds close to those listed in its package details. However, the BT 38 Superfast connection is reportedly 10 Mbit/s less than stated in the package (36 Mbit/s vs 26.82 Mbit/s).

On the other end of the spectrum, TalkTalk has the worst package speed vs reported internet speed, with their 38 FTTC and 76 FTTC packages both failing to reach the download speeds consumers pay for. 

Fixed broadband package download speeds vs reported internet speeds (2022)
ISP broadband connectionsPackage download speed (Mbits/s)Reported download speed average (Mbits/s)
BT--
BT 160 FTTP150145.83
BT 38 FTTC3626.82
BT 52 FTTC5043.18
BT 76 FTTC7462.95
BT 76 FTTP7473.8
EE--
EE 38 FTTC3632.2
EE 76 FTTC7461.72
Plusnet--
Plusnet 38 FTTC3629.42
Plusnet 76 FTTC6660.61
Sky--
Sky 38 FTTC3629.74
Talk Talk--
TalkTalk 38 FTTC3832.23
TalkTalk 76 FTTC8062.26
Virgin--
Virgin 100 Cable108109.47
Virgin 1000 Cable1130953.4
Virgin 200 Cable213208.58
Virgin 350 Cable362374.69
Virgin 500 Cable516540.35
Vodafone--
Vodafone 76 FTTC7360.17

Source: Uswitch

Average download speed of fixed broadband packages (2021)
A graphic showing the average download speed of 18 different fixed broadband packages in 2021.

Regional breakdown

England’s capital, London, has the fastest average download speed of all regions in the UK, with an average download speed of 93.6%. Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East and South West follow behind with average download speeds in the 90% range. 

Scotland, on the other hand, fares the worst of all, with an average download speed of 85.11% – a difference of 8% from London at the top of the table.

RegionAverage download speed (%)
London93.6
Yorkshire & Humberside90.81
North East90.39
South West90.17
South East89.4
Northern Ireland88.88
East Midlands88.33
West Midlands88.2
Wales88.02
East86.1
North West86.08
Scotland85.11

Source: Uswitch

Internet speeds by local authority

Which local authority has the fastest and slowest download speeds in the UK? To find out, we utilised iOS and Android Speedtest data from Q2 2022 via Ookla. We then applied this to local authority boundaries, as per the Office of National Statistics, to highlight the average download, upload and latency performance speeds for each local authority**. 

The local authorities with the fastest and slowest download speeds

Southampton has the fastest average download speed, clocking in at 166.677 Mbit/s. This was closely followed by Stockon-on-Tees, with a download speed of 166.356 Mbit/s. 

Third place goes to Newham with a download speed of 157.795 Mbit/s, fourth to Coventry (157.652 Mbit/s), and fifth to Peterborough (157.509 Mbit/s).

On the other end of the scale, the local authority with the slowest download speed is the Isles of Scilly, with an average download speed of 24.536 Mbit/s—142.141 Mbit/s slower than first place Southampton.

A map showing the local authorities with the fastest and slowest download speeds in the UK in July 2022.

The local authorities with the fastest and slowest average upload speeds

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets takes the crown for the fastest average upload speed, measuring an impressive 107.851 Mbit/s. Tower Hamlets is followed closely behind by Milton Keynes, with an average speed of 105.531 Mbit/s.

Southampton, which has the fastest average download speed, also has the third-fastest upload speed, clocking in at an average of 102.859 Mbit/s. 

On the other end of the scale, as well as having the slowest download speed in the UK, the Isles of Scilly has the slowest upload speed too. The local authority racks up an average upload speed of just 6.555 Mbit/s, which is almost 16 times slower than Tower Hamlets in first place.

A map showing the local authorities with the fastest and slowest upload speeds in the UK in July 2022.

The local authorities with the fastest and slowest average latency

 Latency definition: Latency refers to the delay before a transfer of data begins. A connection with low latency often feels more responsive for simple tasks like internet browsing.

Most online activities require a response time of less than 100 milliseconds (ms) to provide a good experience, although some online gaming apps require 50 ms. 

Our research identified that the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has the best average latency speed, measuring just 9.554 ms. Second place goes to Newham, another London Borough, with an equally impressive latency speed of 9.846 ms.

Residents in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland don’t have it quite so good, clocking an average latency speed of 58.874 ms. This is still reasonable and would allow residents to carry out simple tasks online, however, there is a considerable difference of 49.32 ms from Tower Hamlets in first place.

A map showing the local authorities with the fastest and slowest average latency in the UK in July 2022.

Which UK street has the fastest and slowest broadband speed?

Every December, we analyse all broadband speed tests that were run throughout the year using our broadband speed test to identify the UK streets with the fastest and slowest internet speeds.

As of December 2021, the street with the slowest broadband speed was Wistaston Road in Crewe, where residents have an average broadband speed of just 0.25 Mbps. At this speed, it would take residents over two-and-a-half days to download a two-hour HD film and almost 24 hours to download a 45-minute HD TV show.

By contrast, residents living on Britain’s fastest street for broadband, Haul Fryn in Birchgrove, Swansea, experience an average speed of 882.03 Mbps. This means Wistaston Road is a staggering 3,567 times slower than Haul Fryn, and residents would only have to wait about a minute to download the same film or a mere 24 seconds to download the same show. 

A breakdown of the UK streets with the slowest and fastest broadband (2021)
A table showing the UK streets with the slowest and fastest broadband as of December 2021.

Internet speeds by country

The top 10 countries with the fastest fixed broadband internet speeds

In 2021, Monaco topped the list of countries with the fastest fixed broadband internet speed around the globe, reaching an impressive 270.25 Mbps on average. Hong Kong and Singapore rank second and third, respectively, with average speeds of more than 250 Mbps.

A breakdown of the countries with the fastest average fixed broadband internet speeds (October 2021)
A graphic showing a breakdown of countries with the fastest average fixed broadband Internet speeds in October 2021.

The top 10 countries with the fastest mobile internet speeds

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) boasted the fastest mobile internet speed of all countries worldwide in 2021, racking up an average speed of 273.87 Mbps. South Korea was the only other country to reach internet speeds of more than 200 Mbps.

A breakdown of the countries with the fastest average mobile internet speeds (October 2021)
A graphic showing a breakdown of countries with the fastest average mobile Internet speeds in October 2021.

Mobile connection speeds

4G mobile broadband

Coverage of 4G mobile networks across the UK has not seen significant changes in recent years, however, the Shared Rural Network (SRN) agreement between the UK Government and industry in 2020 should fast-forward coverage over the coming years.

At the start of 2022, 92% of the UK landmass was estimated to have good 4G coverage from at least one operator, which includes nearly all premises in the UK.

4G coverage in Scotland and Wales is slower than elsewhere in the UK, however, individual mobile network operators (MNOs) aim to achieve between 85% and 88% coverage in Wales by 2027 (under the government’s SRN investment) and between 82% and 85% in Scotland.

Premises (outdoor) – coverage range across mobile network operators
Premises (outdoor) – coverage range across mobile network operatorsMay 2021September 2021January 2022
UK99%99-c.100%98-c.100
England99-c.100%99-c.100%99-c.100%
Northern Ireland96-99%97-99%97-99%
Scotland97-99%97-99%97-99%
Wales96-99%96-99%95-99%

Source: Ofcom

A graphic showing the percentage of outdoor premises receiving 4G broadband across mobile network operators in the UK.
Geographic area – coverage range across MNOs
Geographic area – coverage range across MNOsMay 2021September 2021January 2022
UK79-85%79-86%79-86%
England92-93%92-94%92-94%
Northern Ireland86-92%87-92%87-92%
Scotland57-72%57-73%57-74%
Wales72-83%72-84%72-85%

Source: Ofcom

A graphic showing the percentage of the geographic area receiving 4G broadband across mobile network operators in the UK.

5G UK coverage

5G coverage from at least one operator ranges from 47% to 62% of premises outdoors in the UK, up from 42% and 57% in December 2021.

Premises (outdoor) covered by at least one operator
Premises (outdoor) covered by at least one operatorJanuary 2022
UK47-62%
England49-65%
Northern Ireland24-34%
Scotland40-54%
Wales27-38%

Source: Ofcom

A graphic showing the percentage of outdoor premises receiving 5G broadband covered by all operators in the UK.
Premises (outdoor) covered by all operators
Premises (outdoor) covered by all operatorsJanuary 2022
UK4-12%
England5-13%
Northern Ireland2-6%
Scotland2-8%
Wales2-5%
A graphic showing the percentage of outdoor premises receiving 5G broadband by at least one operator in the UK.

The average cost of broadband 

Pricing for broadband services from the UK’s independent full-fibre network operators can be lower than those from established providers.

Data from Ofcom shows full-fibre broadband pricing for selected independent providers, as well as BT using the Openreach full-fibre network and Virgin Media (which uses DOCSIS 3.1 cable and full-fibre technology) to provide ultrafast services. Operators such as Community Fibre, Hyperoptic, and G.Network are entering the broadband market thanks to a clever pricing strategy.

On top of the monthly price, some broadband providers charge fees for activation, set-up, or installation, which is dependent on the provider and contract length. 

Broadband installation cost also depends on whether the broadband provider is registered to the Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS). The scheme, which has been running since 2021, can provide up to £210 million worth of funding to help homes and businesses cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband. Households eligible for this can claim vouchers worth up to £1,500 through a registered broadband provider, and businesses can claim up to £3,500.

A graphic showing the average cost of broadband across the main broadband providers in the UK as of April 2021.

The average cost of a broadband and phone deal

According to Ofcom, 80% of UK households bought bundle deals (two or more services from the same provider) at the start of 2021. The most common combination was broadband and home phone deals, with just over a third (36%) of households opting for one of these packages.

When combining internet and a home phone, households in the UK pay an average of £28.33 a month for a standard, basic broadband package. If households were to upgrade to a superfast fibre connection (30 Mbps+), it would cost £39.75, and for ultrafast connections (300 Mbps+), it would cost £61.90.

The average cost of a broadband, phone and TV bundle

Almost a quarter (23%) of UK households are on triple-bundled deals, which include broadband, a home phone, and TV services. These deals are more expensive, however, they can save you all-important pennies compared to purchasing each separately. 

In 2021, UK households paid £44.21 a month, on average, for standard broadband options, which increased to £56.99 a month for superfast broadband, and £79.40 for ultrafast.

Broadband customer complaint statistics

Uswitch’s analysis*** of quarterly complaints across eight leading internet service providers (ISP) per 100,000 customers between Q4 2010 and Q1 2022 can reveal that Vodafone receives the most complaints per 100,000 customers per quarter, with an average of 1.77. Following closely behind are TalkTalk and Plusnet, with an average of 1.59 and 1.45 complaints per 100,000 customers per quarter, respectively. 

Sky, on the other hand, receives the least number of complaints per 100,000 customers per quarter. Since Q4 2010 and Q1 2022, the internet service provider has received an average of 0.41 complaints. Virgin Media also fares well on the complaints front, with an average of 0.76 complaints per 100,000 customers each quarter.

A breakdown of the average number of complaints per 100,000 customers (Q1 2019-Q1 2022)
A graphic showing the breakdown of the average number of complaints per 100,000 customers in Q1 2019-Q1 2022.

The industry as a whole received an average of 19 complaints per 100,000 customers in Q1 2021—the highest number of complaints since Q4 2017, when 19 complaints were also made. 

This sudden jump in complaints could be explained by the increased use of the internet at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, where enforced Government restrictions meant the vast majority of the population had to use their fixed broadband whilst working from home. 

A breakdown of the average number of industry complaints per 100,000 customers for fixed broadband (2012-2022)
A line graph showing the breakdown of the average number of industry complaints per 100,000 customers for fixed broadband between 2012 and 2022.

Most common reasons for broadband complaints (Q1 2022)

In Q1 2022, the majority of broadband complaints made to Ofcom were due to faults, service, and provisioning with the service, with just over a third (37%) of complaints encompassing this. Of these complaints, 40% were filed by customers of Shell Energy.

The handling of complaints proved to be an issue with customers across the industry, with Ofcom receiving a third (31%) of complaints about this. A further 14% of complaints related to billing, pricing, and charges.

Mobile internet statistics

Mobile devices have become an essential part of everyday life. Research shows that the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.32 billion in 2021, meaning that over 90% of the global internet population uses a mobile device to go online.

Mobile internet penetration rate worldwide (2022)

In 2022, it was found that 93.6% of the population in Canada were mobile internet users. Bahrain ranked first with a mobile internet penetration of approximately 98%, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 95.8%.

Kuwait was ranked third with 95% mobile internet usage penetration. The UAE and Kuwait also rank among the countries with the fastest average mobile internet speed worldwide.

Time spent on the internet via mobile

Approximately 3.34 hours were spent, on average, on the Internet via a mobile device in 2021. Internet users in the Philippines spent more than five hours and 40 minutes using the Internet on their mobile phones per day, compared to Japan which registered the lowest number of daily hours spent online on mobile phones (one hour and 39 minutes per day).

Common usages of mobile data 

Video apps make up two-thirds (66.2%) of mobile data usage globally each month, followed by social networking sites (10.1%). Although, these two categories overlap with each other, as users often watch videos via social networking apps, such as TikTok.

A breakdown of the distribution of global monthly mobile data by category (2021)
A graphic showing the distribution of global monthly mobile data by category in 2021.

Uswitch.com broadband survey (August 2022)

We polled 2,003 adults around the UK aged 18 and over to find out how people feel about their broadband, their average spend per month, the most common broadband issues they have, and more.

48% said they’d change broadband providers due to rising costs

Six in 10 (64%) broadband users have changed their broadband provider at least once.

When asked what the main reason would be if they were to change their broadband provider, just under half (48%) said it would be due to cost. 

On top of this, 20% said it was due to connectivity, orwanting a faster, more reliable broadband internet connection. However, 6% claimed they wouldn’t change broadband providers.

The reasons people are most likely to change broadband provider
ReasonPercentage
Cost (became too expensive/looking for a cheaper deal)48%
Connectivity (looking for faster/more reliable Internet)20%
Contract came to an end10%
Customer service (poor customer service/looking for more reliable customer service)8%
To consolidate broadband with other services as part of a bundle (i.e. TV, mobile, and/or phone)6%
I wouldn’t change provider6%
Other1%

Source: Uswitch survey, August 2022

Spending on broadband has increased by a monthly average of £3.58 over the last 12 months 

Despite 54% of those polled claiming their monthly spending on broadband has stayed the same over the last 12 months, 30% said that their monthly broadband spend had increased between £5 and £9.99 – a maximum increase of £119.88 per year. On average, broadband spending has increased by £3.58 per month or £42.96 per year.

The rise in broadband spending appears to be most common in Greater London and the North East of England, with 54% and 53% respectively spending more on broadband in the last 12 months. Those based in Yorkshire and the Humber are spending the most amongst all UK regions, with 2% of Yorkshire residents surveyed increasing their broadband outlay by more than £15. Comparatively, those based in the West Midlands have fared the best, with 12% of residents having only spent £4.99 or less on average. 

How much monthly broadband spending have increased by over the last 12 months, per UK region
RegionSpend has stayed the sameSpend up to £4.99Spend between £5 - £9.99Spend between £10 - £14.99Spend more than £15
East of England56%10%25%9%0%
Greater London46%4%36%13%1%
East Midlands70%5%18%6%1%
West Midlands47%12%36%4%1%
North East53%7%33%6%0%
North West53%11%29%7%1%
Northern Ireland53%6%34%6%0%
Scotland53%11%30%6%0%
South East53%10%29%7%1%
South West59%6%30%4%1%
Wales54%10%32%4%0%
Yorkshire and the Humber50%8%33%7%2%

Source: Uswitch survey, August 2022

Students’ monthly broadband spending have increased the most in the last 12 months

When broken down by housing arrangement, students were more likely to see an increase in their broadband spending over the last 12 months. With just 20% saying it stayed the same, a further 20% experienced a spending increase between £10 and £14.99, and 60% saw an increase between £5 and £9.99. This equates to an average increase of around £7 per month (or £84 a year), which is almost double the UK average increase of £3.58.

How much monthly broadband spending have increased by over the last 12 months, by housing arrangement
Housing arrangementSpend has stayed the sameSpend has stayed the sameIncreased by up to £4.99Increased by £5 - £9.99Increased by £10 - £14.99
Student housing20%0%60%20%0%
Sheltered housing30%9%43%17%0%
Other43%0%43%14%0%
I/We live with my family54%5%31%9%1%
Social housing such as council house51%8%32%9%0%
A home that I/we own with a mortgage52%8%33%6%0%
Private rental accommodation56%8%29%7%1%
A home that I/we own outright56%11%27%6%1%

£41 = what most people are paying for broadband each month

Of those polled, the average payment for broadband per month (including broadband bundles) is £40.97. Despite this, most people pay between £20 and £29.99 for their broadband each month, including bundle services like TV or mobile. This is followed by almost a quarter who pay between £30 and £39.99 for their broadband internet per month. 6% of respondents pay £70 or more.

Particular deals that include an installation charge are more common in some areas compared to others. On average, more than a quarter (26%) of respondents in our survey chose broadband deals with no installation fees included. In fact, 15% of respondents paid between £20 and £29.99, and a further 9% paid between £30 and £39.99.

Regionally, 44% of those in Greater London have paid a fee to have their broadband fitted, marginally more than residents in Northern Ireland (42%). By contrast, 80% of those in Wales and the South West opted to have no additional spending when it came to installing their broadband.

A breakdown of customers' broadband installation spending by region in the UK
RegionNo installation feesUp to £19.99£20 - £29.99£30 - £39.99£40 or more
UK74.17%1.14%15.15%8.74%0.80%
East Midlands77.99%0.92%15.59%5.51%0.00%
South West79.69%1.50%12.78%6.01%0.00%
North East76.06%1.41%15.50%7.04%0.00%
Greater London56.00%1.33%29.33%12.00%1.33%
Scotland77.62%0.75%14.93%5.97%0.75%
Northern Ireland57.89%2.63%21.05%18.42%0.00%
East of England74.99%1.47%13.96%8.82%0.74%
South East78.84%1.92%11.06%6.73%1.44%
West Midlands68.30%0.70%15.49%15.49%0.00%
Yorkshire and the Humber75.96%0.78%11.62%10.85%0.78%
Wales79.73%0.00%16.22%1.35%2.70%
North West78.16%0.57%10.91%9.20%1.15%

Source: Uswitch survey, August 2022

Outages the most common broadband connection issue in the UK

Despite paying for a broadband internet service each month, many people still experience issues with their broadband regularly.

In our survey, we found the most common connection issue people have faced since their broadband was installed is dropouts and outages, with a quarter experiencing this (26%). This was followed by poor home Wi-Fi coverage and slow speed (22% each), and router issues (15%). Despite this, 47% stated they had had no issues with their broadband since it was installed.

A breakdown of the most common broadband issues in the UK
Broadband issuesPercentage share of those experiencing this issue with broadband internet in the UK (%)
Dropouts/outages26%
Slow speed22%
Poor Wi-Fi coverage around the house22%
Router issues15%
Other< 1%
No issues experienced47%

Source: Uswitch survey, August 2022

Methodology and sources

Creative Commons
Creative Commons