Broadband terms 'confuses 20% of Britons'

21 November 2013

Posted by Michelle Devonshire

Broadband terminology confuses one in five adults in the UK.

A survey of 2,000 broadband customers by OnePoll, commissioned by, found many struggled with understanding concepts such as megabit per second (Mbps), megabyte (MB) and traffic management.

Some 46 per cent of respondents said they did not comprehend the majority of the vocabulary used in broadband packages - as a result, the comparison service is concerned customers may not be getting the best deals or service.

A spokesperson said: "Millions of broadband customers are signing up to the wrong package, which could see them each paying up to £100 extra in unnecessary costs every year."

More than half of those questioned believe they may have chosen the wrong broadband package for their needs, paying more than they should.

Furthermore, a quarter claim they have difficulty understanding their monthly broadband bill and 28 per cent are unsure if they currently have the right deal for their requirements.

Last month, a report from the BBC found the UK has some of the cheaper prices available worldwide. Citing figures from the New American Foundation for lower to middle download speeds, it found the average monthly prices in San Francisco of $99 (£61) and New York ($70) to be at least double those of London ($38).

In high-speed options, the UK had costs below $40 which was, again, cheaper than the US but more expensive than the likes of Japan, South Korea and Estonia. The BBC cited figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which showed an average speed of around 60 Mbps. France, South Korea and Slovenia, however, have speeds of 100 Mbps.

Of course, the need for fast broadband might be a moot point if customers have problems understanding the terms used.

Telecoms expert for Dominic Baliszewski said: "British broadband customers should be empowered to make informed decisions about where they spend their money, which is why the results of this survey are so worrying."

Its findings further found 59 per cent of respondents did not know more people online in their home would affect the connection, with two-thirds failing to recognise the same impact depending on the number of people in their street.

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