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Many broadband customers see little or no difference between broadband suppliers, a new survey has found.

According to research by accountancy firm EY, one in three households do not perceive any major differences between each company.

EY said this is despite the fact there is greater segmentation and more targeted offerings in the broadband market than ever before.

Stuart Orr, Technology, Media, Entertainment and Telecommunications Sector Partner at EY, observed: "This suggests the industry could be moving towards a model similar to the utility market, where the only perceived differentiator is price. 

"Avoiding that 'race to the bottom' will come down to the value of the brand, particularly in terms of trust, customer engagement and service."

Interestingly, the proportion of respondents expressing a willingness to switch provider has gone up in recent years.

Whereas 21 per cent of those polled in 2013 were interested in migrating, the figure now stands at 25 per cent.

Some 43 per cent of households cited trust levels and lower prices as their main reason for wanting to switch.

However, many were found to be unsure of how certain packages - in particular broadband deals that include mobile services - would benefit them.

More than half of those polled said they would only consider a bundle that includes mobile if the stand-alone price was significantly cut.

Almost a third of respondents admitted they find it difficult to locate a package that meets their needs.

This could partly explain the growing use of price comparison websites to find the best deals, with the proportion of consumers turning to these platforms going up from 34 per cent to 38 per cent in the last three years.

The survey comes after Ofcom revealed 79 per cent of people have encountered difficulties while switching between different networks, including problems cancelling their previous service and being left without a service for several days during the changeover.

The watchdog has therefore drawn up proposals to make it easier for telecoms customers to switch from one company to another, with a simple one-stop process requiring a person's new provider to coordinate the transition.

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