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Poor WiFi costs UK households £2.2 billion in extra mobile data fees each year

New research by WiredScore and HomeOwners Alliance reveals 85 per cent of British homeowners and renters face WiFi connectivity issues and failing services resulting in £2.2 billion a year, across the UK spent on additional mobile data fees.

mobile data, home wifi speed, broadband, internet connection

WiFi connectivity breaks down 20 times a month

New research from certification provider WiredScore, also launching its connectivity rating scheme for residential properties, found those with WiFi connectivity issues experience breakdowns an average of 20 times per month. To compensate, households have used 2.5GB a month of additional mobile data on average. Across the year, this amounts to 30GB, leaving those affected £153 out of pocket.

Internet surfing and browsing social media contributing to poor connectivity

The most significant hinderances to a home’s WiFi connectivity were cited as surfing the internet and browsing social media. Streaming TV and films  and working from home were also leading consumers to purchase extra mobile data to compensate for underperforming WiFi.

Homeowners fail to check connectivity when buying a property

More than a quarter of homeowners and renters  admitted that had they known about WiFi connectivity issues beforehand they would never have moved into their property. Despite this, many home movers are failing to educate themselves. Nearly half said they would never consider checking the local WiFi speeds or the cellular signal of a property when viewing a property.

Will 5G be the answer?

While many British consumers are pinning their hopes on the much anticipated 5G services as the answer to their woes, they may be disappointed.  Modern building methods and materials, such as treated glass and steel frames, can have a significant negative impact on its signal within the property if not addressed.

Residential developers must support next-gen mobile technologies

However, residential developers are waking up to the importance of WiFi connectivity. Two-fifths report that they’re increasingly being asked about the digital connectivity services of their properties by prospective purchasers or renters. Six in ten also report that they have improved their planning applications in line with new guidelines from the National Planning Policy Framework.  The guidelines state that new developments should support the expansion of next-gen mobile technologies, like 5G, and full fibre broadband connections.

William Newton, President and EMEA MD at WiredScore, commented: “Connectivity is paramount to the way we live, work and play. These days most adult internet users spend 24 hours online each week – almost double the time spent in 2007. Consumers clearly need more information about a property’s connectivity before moving in. It is staggering that failing WiFi costs the nation £2.2 billion a year in supplementary mobile data. Our research with property developers shows their renewed commitment to supporting 5G and full fibre connections. It’s important that the right investments are made to assure an improved in-home experience.”

Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, also commented: “WiFi connectivity quality should be a high priority, and not an afterthought. In today’s world where we all use WiFi in our daily lives – for everything from paying bills, to booking travel and even medical appointments – there needs to be a guaranteed minimum level of service, just like there is for utility providers. Decent broadband connectivity is vital for millions of people who work from home either full-time or for part of their week, and many more rely on WiFi for social contact, especially those in remote rural areas and those at home with an illness or disability. We advise all homebuyers to ask for evidence of WiFi connectivity before moving home.” 

The best Broadband providers

Choosing the best broadband provider is a tricky business. You need to weigh up cost, speed, availability in your area and contract length. We’re here to help with advice on all aspects of picking a broadband deal and details of the best broadband providers and their packages for 2019.


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