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One in three households ‘cannot access WiFi in every room’

By Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

WiFi “not-spots” – areas of the home where people are unable to connect to WiFi – affect a third of UK households, new research suggests.

A survey by broadband provider Zen Internet found that 33% of UK households experience the signal blackspots, with 18% moving their router as a result in an attempt to receive a better signal.

More than a quarter of those asked (26%) said they avoid certain rooms in their home when trying to get online because of connectivity issues.

The research comes in the wake of the Labour Party revealing plans to offer free, full-fibre broadband to every home and business in the UK by 2033 if the party wins next month’s General Election.

The scheme would involve bringing parts of BT into public ownership, specifically its Openreach division.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said the Conservatives want to introduce similar levels of broadband to the whole country by 2025 – eight years ahead of a 2033 target set by Theresa May’s government.

According to Ofcom figures published in May, average broadband speeds received by UK households had risen by almost 20% in the last 12 months.

But Zen Internet’s research also found that 15% of UK households have invested in a WiFi signal extender – hardware designed to boost connectivity around the home – in an attempt to improve signal in “not-spots” around their home.

Paul Stobart, chief executive of Zen Internet said: “With WiFi connectivity throughout the home now an expected requirement for modern-day living, it’s unacceptable that families are still struggling to connect to their WiFi in whatever room they want.

“It’s the responsibility of the broadband industry to ensure consumers have the best service possible and this includes providing the tools to deliver this.”

But among UK internet users who took part in the research, opinion was split on what the cause of poor connectivity was – 21% said they believed being on multiple devices at once affected their signal, while 22% said their internet provider was to blame for poor signal in parts of their home.