Key findings:

  • 62% said slow broadband puts you at a disadvantage in society
  • 79% said slow broadband users should receive a discount to their service
  • Third of rural users say their broadband connection is inadequate
  • 20% are willing to pay more for broadband to subsidise broadband rollout

A new survey commissioned by broadband comparison website Broadband Genie has found the majority (62%) believe slow broadband puts you at a disadvantage in society. Moreover, just 13% feel the government has done enough to get rural areas connected to faster broadband.

The survey also highlights the differences between rural and urban areas. It was found that a third (34%) of rural users feel their broadband was inadequate for the activities they wanted to do online, compared to just 19% of urban users. Furthermore, rural areas were almost twice as likely to be unsatisfied with their broadband speed.

Users were also asked if they would be willing to pay more for their service to subsidise the rollout of better broadband for areas suffering with slow connections – 20% said they would.  There is also overwhelming support (79%) for offering a discounts to users stuck with slow broadband.

Head of Policy at the Countryside Alliance, Sarah Lee, said:

“These polling results from OnePoll confirm what we already know about the importance that rural families place on investment in better broadband infrastructure. Far from being a secondary issue investing in rural broadband should be central to the Government’s vision for rural Britain.

“The polling clearly demonstrates that rural communities believe that there is a lot more than the Government can do to connect them to faster broadband. It is vital that going forward the Government has in place a coherent strategy for delivering connectivity to the final 5 per cent. Achieving full connectivity will finally allow rural communities to achieve their full economic potential.”

Rob Hilborn, Head of Strategy at Broadband Genie, says:

“Broadband has gone far beyond just a nice thing to have, and it’s certainly no longer just an inconvenience if you have a slow or unreliable connection. Many families across the country in areas of poor connectivity are falling behind, and unless proper solutions are put in place we risk these areas falling further as the digital gap widens.

“It’s clear the public feel more should be done to get households grappling with slow broadband a better connection. Certainly they shouldn’t be paying the full whack for a broadband package, which quite frankly in a lot of cases isn’t fit for purpose. Having consumers subsidising the rollout of better broadband is an option, but it’s more than likely this is going to need to be a joint effort between all parties to tackle this issue effectively. “

Broadband Genie commissioned the polling company OnePoll to survey 2,000 broadband users in rural and urban areas from across the UK.  Raw data, graphs and additional analysis can be found in Broadband Genie’s blog post here – https://www.broadbandgenie.co.uk/blog/20161115-rural-broadband-survey-results