Broadband switching in Britain surged by 30 per cent in March as lockdown restrictions came into force and the nation started working from home
- 30% surge in people switching internet provider from March 1 to March 31
- Many people are opting for new plans that give them quicker speeds
- Comes during coronavirus lockdown with millions of adults and children in their homes all day
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Britons are using the coronavirus lockdown to upgrade their internet, with the amount of people switching broadband supplier jumping by 30 per cent from the end of February to the end of March.
Millions of adults and children are stuck inside all day during the nationwide lockdown and high-speed internet has become a necessity.
Children are e-schooling, parents are working from home, and streaming TV programmes is a key hobby in the evenings.
As a result, internet consumption has almost doubled in the UK in March and many are looking to boost their internet speed.
Children are e-schooling, parents are working from home, and streaming TV programmes is a key hobby in the evenings. As a result, internet consumption has almost doubled in the UK in March and many are looking to increase their bandwidth and have quicker internet speeds (stock)
Comparethemarket.com says it has seen considerable demand for products with faster speeds since the restrictions began.
The comparison site also claims four in 10 households have experienced issues with their broadband since lockdown, which has impacted their ability to work.
Customers opting for download speeds of 51+MB or more – fast enough to easily download files – made up less than half of all switches at the start of March.
But by the end of the month, after lockdown was implemented, customers opting for these speeds made up almost two thirds of those switching.
Figures from comparethemarket.com also reveal a huge spike of 95 per cent in people purchasing the fastest internet package,providing more than 61mbps.
Holly Niblett, head of digital at comparethemarket.com, said: ‘We have seen a surge in demand for faster broadband packages since the lockdown began.
Coronavirus lockdown has caused UK internet usage to almost DOUBLE
Data from Openreach, the UK’s largest which owns and operates most of the UK’s phone broadband lines, reveals daytime data consumption has almost doubled in March.
On March 9, one week before Boris Johnson gave his first daily coronavirus press conference urging people to work from home wherever possible, the total amount of data used between 9am and 5pm was 27 petabytes.
On Monday March 30, this figure reached 51Pb, almost double the previous figure. One petabyte is the same as one million gigabytes.
The peak time during the day continues to be between 2pm and 5pm, while the evening peak is between 8pm and 11pm.
‘Overall, the network is coping very well as we have expected,’ a spokesperson told MailOnline.
‘Broadband is increasingly being recognised by the government as an essential utility, yet many people adjusting to the new ways of working are realising that their existing connection isn’t up to scratch.
‘Millions of households are stuck on out-of-contract deals with their existing provider which are often expensive and uncompetitive.
‘The reality of a patchy connection speed, combined with a growing awareness that cheap, reliable and fast broadband is no longer a pipedream, is motivating growing numbers to switch provider.
‘Switching provider is straightforward and can generate savings over the course of a year that can easily run into hundreds of pounds.’
Comparethemarket.com has now partnered with Virgin Media to try and offer customers an offer in order to get superior internet at a better price.
Averaging 54mbps, the fibre-optic internet deal will cost £26 a month and come with no setup fee.
It is available for two weeks and will save customers £134 compared to going through Virgin directly, comparethemarket.com says.
The continues rise of internet consumption is likely due in part to the increase in the amount of video calls while working from home as well as streaming on sites such as Disney+ and Netflix