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43 million broadband users in the UK have struggled with a poor internet connection at home, a new study has found.

According to research by uSwitch, 83 per cent of broadband users have experienced reliability issues during the last 12 months.

Slow loading pages was a particularly common issue, with 71 per cent citing this as a problem, while 67 per cent were unhappy with their internet disconnecting.

Meanwhile, 63 per cent complained about buffering and 54 per cent reported crashing.

However, the study suggested that many people are failing to switch to a better broadband service, even if the option is available to them.

While uSwitch pointed out that superfast broadband is now available to 90 per cent of households, only 57 per cent of households believe they can access superfast speeds in their area.

Meanwhile, 30 per cent admitted they did not know if they could access superfast speeds at all.

This could be partly down to confusion of the terminology being used by broadband providers.

Indeed, 26 per cent said they did not know what types of service would deliver superfast speeds to their home.

This is despite 94 per cent saying they understand that fibre broadband is faster than standard broadband.

Furthermore, the research showed that 19 per cent of broadband users would be prepared to switch providers for faster speeds, while 38 per cent would do so for a cheaper deal.

The broadband industry has therefore been urged to communicate what is available to individual properties "in a meaningful way".    

"Quite simply, most consumers aren’t bothered by the technical definitions of their broadband connection, they just want - and deserve - a reliable service that delivers value," said Ewan Taylor-Gibson, Broadband Expert at uSwitch.com.

"Since customers can’t ‘try superfast before they buy’, the next best solution is for the industry to improve transparency around speeds, showing what’s available from providers side-by-side, in a personalised way."

Taylor-Gibson noted that while households can currently do a postcode search to see if superfast broadband is available to their property, the actual speeds they are likely to receive must be put in context. 

This, he said, means the industry must come up with ways of allowing a quick and easy comparison of the current and potential speeds available to the property from different providers.

Consumers would therefore be able to "evaluate and select the service that offers the best value", Taylor-Gibson stated.

He added that while superfast broadband is not a "magic bullet", it can "significantly reduce speed and reliability issues" for households.

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