More than three-quarters of UK households – 77 per cent – report that their broadband service “isn’t up to scratch”.
In a new survey from uSwitch, respondents state that while almost two-thirds of homes contain a gamer who plays almost two hours every day, the UK’s internet services are not always “up to the challenge” and gaming households are “much more likely to complain about broadband reliability”, particularly as the sector moves towards more online gaming like Fortnite.
77 per cent of households with gamers report speed-related broadband issues, a “notable increase compared to households who don’t have any gamers at all (64 per cent)”. The biggest issues for gaming homes include intermittent disconnecting (37 per cent), video buffering (35 per cent) and slow loading (34 per cent).
uSwitch opines that the issues are due to one in six (16 per cent) broadband packages offering speeds of less than 30Mbps. While this is “comfortably above the recommended minimum speeds” lag may still occur due to the number of devices connected to the internet at peak times. And while gaming households typically have broadband speeds of around 58Mbps, they too see performance dip during peak-use times.
“It’s no surprise that gaming households particularly struggle with speed-related issues like the internet dropping out and video buffering, although it is worth noting that speed isn’t the only factor when it comes to making the shot before you get shot,” said Ernest Doku, broadband expert at uSwitch.com. “It is worth checking what your ping rate is, as even gamers with superfast services, offering the regulator’s minimum speeds of 30Mbps, might find particularly laggy servers ruining their gaming experience.
“It’s really important for households to weigh up how much bandwidth they’re likely to need when choosing a broadband package. People who enjoy gaming and streaming TV at the same time might want to consider ultrafast services, available to 53 per cent of the population, that offer speeds in excess of 100Mbps – giving their internet extra firepower at particularly busy times.”
It’s an interesting survey, particularly as the industry sees a spike in digital sales and continues to innovate with streaming services and devices like Microsoft’s disc-less Xbox One S and Google’s Stadia increasingly requiring players to have strong, stable connections in order to fully utilise cloud gaming.