Broadband has basically become an essential service these days, but if you’re not careful the monthly cost of internet access can steadily creep up.
You’ll see plenty of cheap broadband deals on the market when searching for a new broadband provider, but choosing a service that doesn’t meet your needs, just because it could save you a few pounds each month, might end up costing you more in the long run.
For many of us, working and studying from home has become the new normal, and working from your laptop while sitting on the sofa is less than ideal for some. So if you’re working with a slow broadband connection too, it could turn your new working day into an unproductive mess.
And it doesn’t take a lot to make a significant impact on your working productivity. 40 minutes of slow internet a day works out to 21 days a year wasted waiting for files to download, videos to buffer and websites to load. That equates to the average amount of annual leave in the UK. Just think, a year’s worth of time off wasted on bad internet.
To put a monetary value on that, if the average UK salary is £30,420 a year*, this works out at £2,340 lost waiting for slow broadband.
What’s more, slow broadband isn’t just wasting time, it creates a great deal of frustration and can drain your energy and productivity.
How many times have you taken an extra coffee break because your internet connection was so slow it was frustrating? How many times have you put off working on a task that requires significant bandwidth because you know it will be slow and discouraging? How many times have you lost and had to redo work because of a bad broadband connection?
Tasks that should be quick and straightforward can be frustrating and long-winded activities if you’re working on a slow or unreliable broadband connection.
Before you write an angry letter to your broadband provider, run a quick broadband speed test to get a reading of the actual broadband speed you’re getting at home. You’ll also see if your home broadband is above or below the average speed in your area as well as some of the providers offering an alternative.
Research from Housesimple found that average UK house prices on streets with some of the slowest broadband speeds were on average 24% lower than homes on neighbouring streets.
This study was based on our own findings on the UK’s Slowest Streets. Some examples included Coppice Farm Park, in St. Leonards (Tring) which has a painfully slow 0.719 Mbps average broadband speed. In this case, the average house prices were £211,333, 62% lower than the postcode district average of £556,974.
Though this may seem like an oversimplification, nowadays broadband is very much a necessary home utility like water, gas and electricity. Areas without good access to these utilities will see prices drop as buyers and renters are less likely to move into a property where these facilities are of poor quality.
Apartment blocks, streets, even entire postcodes are limited in the type of broadband they can get by the infrastructure in place. It’s worth noting that although fibre-optic internet is now available in the vast majority of locations throughout the UK, each property’s ability to connect to that network varies.
When you bought or moved into your property you may have been quoted a certain speed for your internet, but a lot may have changed since then. Use our Network Checker, currently in its beta-stage, to get up-to-date information about the broadband availability at your specific address.
It may seem counterintuitive, but switching to a faster broadband package can sometimes cost you less each month, if you account for how quickly you can perform tasks online. And in addition to making your work or school day faster, easier and more productive, your monthly fees could actually be lower themselves if you’re currently paying out-of-contract prices.
Broadband prices tend to jump once you’re out of your initial fixed-term contract, so if you’ve been with your current provider for over a year or two, chances are you’ll be paying a much higher monthly rate than you signed up for.
Superfast fibre broadband is available to 96% of the country, and there are plenty of fibre deals that cost as little as £25 a month. If you’re currently paying more than that for slow ADSL broadband, then it’s definitely time to switch.