Working From Home Reveals Broadband Weakness, Survey Says – Forbes - Freelance Rack

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Friday, July 24, 2020

Working From Home Reveals Broadband Weakness, Survey Says – Forbes

Londoners have access to some of the fastest broadband in the world, but sheltering in place for the last few months has made clear that many of them don’t have it at home.

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A new survey, conducted on behalf of fibre broadband company G.Network, has spoken to London residents, many of whom are making their way back to their offices to work now that lockdown restrictions have eased.

It turns out that 59% of them still want to work from home for at least part of the working week, if only their home broadband was better. That figure is made up of 31% who want to stay home all the time, thank you very much, and another 28% wanting to split their week between work and home.

The pandemic has forced Brits to come to terms with their home broadband and it hasn’t always been a great experience. Two-thirds of Londoners have had issues with broadband, it seems, whether in terms of reliability issues such as connection dropping (this joy was encountered by 43.4%) or just poor speed (another 22.6%).

Video was a particular problem, with 48.6% of respondents saying that streaming video or taking part in those video calls which have become so much a part of our lives recently have been hit by connection issues.

All of which may come as a surprise to those looking at London and presuming that, as it’s one of the great cities of the world, that its broadband should be world-class.

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In fact, a portion of Londoners find their landline is something called EOL. That’s exchange-only line, and means the cable goes underground not to a cabinet in a nearby street but straight to the exchange. In many cases, this means the fastest options from networks like BT and TalkTalk are hobbled by the fact that the EOL, in many cases, can’t get fibre speeds. While BT and others are working to address this now, it leaves others, such as cable company Virgin Media and newcomers like G.Network a strong opportunity.

In central London over the past year, G.Network has become a familiar name, thanks to the fact that it’s been digging up street after street and laying the conduits for its fibre.

My street has been done recently, so I aim to test G.Network’s speeds soon and will report back. For now, the fastest speeds I can get are from my brilliant Vodafone Gigacube 5G router which offers solid, reliable and outlandishly good data speeds.

Even so, it can’t compete with G.Network’s promised near-gigabit speed. Actually, the company refers to it as 900Meg, but to be honest, I may not be able to tell the difference between 900Mbps and gigabit. It also has a sneakily clever opening gambit: there are four speed levels, 900Mbps, 500Mbps, 300Mbps and 150Mbps, but whichever speed you opt for, the company gives you the 900Mbps speeds for the first three months.

While it’s doing this, Openreach, the company used to lay landline infrastructure, is also upping its game, and more mobile 5G masts are going up, persuading many to ditch the landline altogether and choose a 5G mobile router.

All of which goes to show that within the next months or years, London’s broadband could finally be fast enough for everyone who wants to work, stream and Zoom from home.


Follow me on Instagram by clicking here: davidphelantech and Twitter: @davidphelan2009

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