Best UK Internet Broadband Service Provider
Who is the Best UK Internet Broadband Service Provider?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions and searches on google.
The UK broadband market is very competitive. The majority of broadband providers are LLU operators using the same BT Openreach infrastructure and therefore the differentiator between service providers is customer service and satisfaction.
Ofcom, the UK Telecoms regulator monitors and conducts research into the levels of customer service and satisfaction across the ‘main’ communications service providers in the UK.
The main communication service providers are those with a market share of 4% and above. The UK Broadband suppliers that were reviewed in the latest Ofcom report were BT, SKY, EE, Plusnet, Virgin Media, NOW, TalkTalk, Vodafone and KCOM.
Table of Contents
Broadband Customer Service
Ofcom Broadband Customer Service Summary
- In 2021, 83% of broadband customers were satisfied with their service overall, a 3% increase compared to 2020.
- 88% of BT Customers were more likely than average to be satisfied with their overall service. An 8% improvement compared to 2020.
- Virgin Media customers were less likely than the average to be satisfied with their overall broadband service (78%).
- 8% of broadband customers were dissatisfied with their service overall. The main driver of dissatisfaction among these broadband customers was poor service or a bad connection (cited by 49% of dissatisfied users).
- Just over four in five broadband customers were satisfied with the reliability of their service in 2021
- 86% of BT customers were more likely than average to be satisfied with their broadband reliability
- TalkTalk (75%) and Virgin Media (76%) customers were less likely than average to be satisfied.
- TalkTalk customers were less likely to be satisfied with the speed of their broadband service, compared to the average,(73% vs 80%).
- BT, EE, Plusnet and SKY customers were more likely than average to recommend their broadband provider to a friend.
- TalkTalk and Virgin Media customers were less likely to recommend their provider to a friend.
- EE had an above-average recommend to a friend score, all other providers were in line with the average.
- BT, Plusnet and Sky have improved their relative positions, while TalkTalk’s and Virgin Media’s have worsened since 2020.
Recommend to a friend: broadband providers
- Compare Broadband Deals
- Best EE Broadband Deals in December 2022
- Sky broadband and TV packages
- Plusnet broadband Offers
- Virgin Media Broadband and TV Packages
Source: Ofcom Customer Satisfaction Tracker 2021
Note: Vodafone was included for the first time in the 2021 wave due to reaching the minimum market share requirement.
Broadband Complaints and complaints handling
Broadband Complaints and complaints handling Summary
- One in five broadband customers said they had a reason to complain in 2021, a decline of 6% since 2020.
- Vodafone and Virgin Media customers were more likely than average to have had a reason to complain about their broadband service in 2021.
- SKY customers (16%) were less likely to complain about their broadband service.
- Compared to 2020, broadband customers of BT, EE, Sky and Virgin Media (23% vs 29%) were all less likely to say they had a reason to complain.
- As in 2020, the most common cause for customers to have a reason to complain about their broadband was a service issue, such as slow connection speeds or an intermittent or total loss of service (75%).
- The proportion of broadband customers with a reason to complain about their service decreased in 2021
- Half of the customers who made a complaint to their provider were satisfied with the way it was handled.
- BT and Sky performed better than average on this measure, just over half of their customers were satisfied with the complaints handling process.
- TalkTalk and Virgin Media were below average for this measure.
- BT customers were more likely than average to have a complaint completely resolved on first contact, while
Virgin Media customers were less likely than average to have experienced this.
Complaints to Ofcom
Broadband complaints per 100,000 subscribers: 2021
For the second year in a row, EE generated the fewest broadband complaints to Ofcom per 100,000 subscribers.
The average number of broadband complaints per 100,000 subscribers was 49 in 2021, with all providers except Virgin Media generating the same amount, or fewer complaints than in 2020.
Virgin Media generated the most complaints per 100,000 subscribers at 78.
Source: Ofcom, 2021.
Notes: All figures are rounded to the nearest whole number; the industry average relates only to the providers included in the analysis. Providers that had over 1.5% market share for only part of 2021 were not included in the analysis. The year-on-year change uses 2020 figures that were corrected following updated subscriber data submitted by providers. Due to change in the providers included in the analysis (namely the exclusion of Post Office), the industry average is not comparable with the previous year.
Average call waiting times, by UK broadband and landline provider
Ofcom Call waiting time and abandonment rate summary
- The industry average call waiting time for broadband and landline providers was 2min 16s in 2021
- Most broadband providers had a decrease in their average call waiting times since 2020, but only Plusnet, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone reduced them to below pre-pandemic levels.
- NOW Broadband customers had the shortest average call waiting time in 2021, at 31s.
- KCOM had the longest average call waiting time in 2021 and was the only broadband and landline provider which had an increase in its average call waiting time, more than doubling from 3min 19s in 2020 to 8min 53s in 2021.
- In 2021, 5% of calls were abandoned before the customer spoke to a customer service agent.
- NOW Broadband had the lowest rate of call abandonment, while KCOM had the highest.
- TalkTalk and Virgin Media’s abandonment rates improved in 2021.
Source: Ofcom / provider data, 2021.
Notes: Abandonment rates are rounded to the nearest whole number. When the actual measurable difference between providers is less than one, their results should be considered comparable. Due to changes in the providers included in the analysis (namely the exclusion of Post Office and inclusion of NOW Broadband), the industry average is not comparable with the previous year. TalkTalk and Virgin Media were unable to provide comparable data about the percentage of calls that ended, so only information about their performance compared to the previous year has been included. See Annex 3 for methodology.