Worst UK town for broadband outages revealed: If you live here, you’re probably not able to read this

a outline map of the UK is shown on a computer screen with graphs and charts

The latest survey from broadband comparison service Uswitch has revealed the UK town with the highest number of complaints of internet outages

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 27/12/2023

- 04:30

New survey from Uswitch reveals the UK town with highest number of reported outages

  • Nottingham suffered the most outages, followed by Liverpool and Brighton
  • 17 million UK homes suffered a broadband outage in 2023, survey data claims

If you live in Nottingham, you've probably experienced more internet outages and broadband woes than anywhere else in the UK, according to a new research from Uswitch. In total, 43% of people in Nottingham surveyed had experienced a broadband blackout during this year.

Nottingham was followed by Liverpool (39%), Brighton (38%), while Plymouth (37%) just missed out on the Bronze medal for the least reliable broadband connection.

In comparison, those surveyed in Glasgow suffered the fewest outages (28%) over the last 12 months. It's worth noting the survey, which was conducted by Opinium, only had a sample size of 2,000 UK adults, which isn't enough to build a definitive picture of broadband across every town.

Elsewhere, the Uswitch research claimed that 17 million people in the UK "lost their broadband connection or had it drop out" for a minimum of three hours at some point in the last 12 months.

Andrew Griffith discusses the latest plans for full-fibre broadband in the UK

As more household devices require an internet connection to work correctly, more television and radio is streamed over a broadband connection, and people increasingly work from home — outages become increasingly disruptive.

If you lose internet, home security systems and video doorbells are no longer able to monitor your property, smart thermostats cannot be adjusted and Wi-Fi enabled lighting can't be switched on.

To alleviate these connectivity concerns, Amazon rolled out a software update to its eero mesh routers that enables users to switch to the 4G or 5G connection from their smartphone as a backup during outages to keep as many (or few) of the gadgets on their Wi-Fi network online.

It's a nifty fix and you'lllikely only notice the change because of the dip in speed ...and the hefty bill from your mobile network at the end of the month if you're not on an unlimited data plan.

BT and Vodafone both offer "unbreakable" broadband packages that include a backup SIM inside the router that will switch to the mobile network if there's an outage with the fixed-line connection. These typically cost quite a bit more than a broadband-only connection but can provide peace-of-mind for those who cannot afford to lose internet for more than a minute.

According to Uswitch, the day of the week when respondents were most likely to experience an outage was tied between Friday and Wednesday (12% of incidents reported by those surveyed), followed by Saturday (9%), Thursday (11%), Tuesday (9%), Monday (7%) and Sunday (6%).

The most frequent time of day to lose home internet was found to be 11am (10% of those surveyed reported incidents at this time), while 6pm, 7pm, 9pm, 3pm, 2pm and 10am each scored 8%.

Or put another way, Friday at 11am is a bad time for those in Nottingham to organise a video call.

Unfortunately for those struggling with regular outages, a fresh delay to the so-called "one touch" system means switching between full-fibre broadband providers will continue to be a headache for the foreseeable future.

But it's not all bad news, BT-owned Openreach has confirmed that it's now upgraded half of its planned 25 million premises to next-generation fibre-optic connections, which enable faster download speeds (up to 12x faster than the average UK home broadband speed) and more reliable connections.

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