‘Connection lost”. Two words which have the unique ability to induce a sinking feeling and a rising anger at the same time.
To see the little bars of connectivity suddenly vanish from your phone or laptop, to see the @ light blink out on your router, to be told your TV can’t download the programme you wanted… it’s enough to make you rage at the heavens, not just your broadband provider.
And it happens to people who live in the countryside far more often than those who live in urban Britain.
Even when they do have connectivity, the broadband speeds are far, far slower.
According to the telecoms watchdog, a typical home needs a minimum speed of 10Mbps, but only 20 per cent of people in the countryside achieve that compared to 70 per cent of townies.
Why should so many broadband customers in rural areas have to put up with painfully slow connectivity?
After all, they rely on the internet as much as those living in urban areas - it’s just as important to them as their electricity or gas, particularly if they’re running a business or providing a vital service.
It’s no wonder they feel duped by the ads that promise “up to” speeds they never get - and then still have to keep paying the normal price for a terrible service.
Last year the Government said it wanted to put access to broadband on a similar footing as other essential utilities, bringing superfast broadband to everyone by 2020.
But already it looks like only 95 per cent of people will get superfast connections.
If you are in the missing five per cent you can of course apply for superfast broadband, but we don’t know how easy it will be to get connected or how much it will cost.
Even then, if it gets installed there’s no saying it will cope with the demands of a new generation of digital services.
Which? wants to work with government to brings its plans to fruition as soon as possible and to ensure getting connected is cost effective and simple.
Keep your views coming and we’ll make sure they’re heard.
If you’re not receiving the broadband speed promised by your provider, it may be in breach of contract.
Write to them with details of information you were given about claimed speeds before you signed up.
Keep a log of the problems you’re having, detailing times and dates of slow speeds.
Give them a set and sensible period, say 14 days, to find a solution. If that doesn’t work, lodge a formal complaint.
After eight weeks you can go to an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme. Visit www.which.co.uk for more information.