Survey reveals South West parents’ broadband battles

Authored by Mary
Posted: Friday, February 12, 2021 - 14:56

Four in 10 families in the South West now have more rows about their internet use than they do about what to watch on TV – as the typical house juggles NINE connected devices at once.

A national poll of 2,000 parents found three quarters have argued about the broadband as they battle to home school and work from home.

And families based in the South West estimate a quarter of all their rows are due to their online activities.

Having too many devices connected at once and clogging up the broadband was found to be the top gripe (22 per cent).

More than one in five (21 per cent) have fallen out over phone use at the dinner table while 15 per cent of parents were left disgruntled by their children playing games online as they tried to work.

And one in 10 parents in the region have even faced arguments after asking their children to stop using the internet so they could make a work video call.

Evan Wienburg, CEO of Bath-based Truespeed, the ultrafast full fibre broadband provider which commissioned the study, said: “So many people are at home wanting a piece of the broadband action, which may affect speed and performance - and cause family rows.

“For millions, the internet is the only escape to the outside world at the moment, so for many parents it can be difficult to try and balance that with time spent offline.

“And this is all when the broadband service is working properly – which is great for the fortunate 35 per cent of families in the South West who have a very reliable connection, but can only add to the frustration for those who don’t.”

The study found the average family has as many as nine different devices connected to the internet at home at any one time.

Reliable broadband is also seen as a crucial part of modern life, with a huge 93 per cent of South West respondents claiming they would be ‘lost’ without the internet at home.

But almost half (47 per cent) experience broadband problems at least once a week.

Nearly one in three (31 per cent) of families living in the region get wound up when TV shows or movies buffer ‘for ages’ before they finally start playing.

Another 12 per cent find it irritating when they’re simply trying to load up their social media channels, only for them to take forever to populate.

Just under a third (31 per cent) also said they are ‘very reliant’ on fast broadband connectivity as they’re currently working from home.

But 17 per cent have even struggled to get their broadband to cooperate when sending an email.

And 28 per cent have seen a video call shudder, freeze or even drop out entirely, according to the OnePoll figures.

Evan Wienburg of Truespeed added: “One way of keeping the peace when it comes to broadband battles is to make sure your broadband is up to the job.

“You wouldn’t buy a car that couldn’t fit the whole family inside, so it’s important to make sure your broadband connection has enough in the tank to handle whatever your family throws at it.”


  1. Too many people using the internet at once
  2. Too many devices connected to the internet at once
  3. People browsing the internet on phones at the dinner table
  4. Children going online when they shouldn’t be
  5. Children playing video games at peak times when someone is trying to work
  6. Too many apps connected to the internet at once
  7. Someone turning off the Wi-Fi while you are using it
  8. Someone using the internet when you are on a work call
  9. People using it to download large files, slowing it down for everyone else
  10. Shopping online at peak times