The Inquirer-Home

Pensioners are driving broadband take-up

Safer than actual driving
Tue Dec 07 2010, 17:05

PENSIONERS ARE DRIVING broadband take-up in the UK, according to figures from Ofcom.

The telecoms watchdog has published a comprehensive overview of the telecoms industry in which it found that the older generation is going online in their droves. In fact, so many elders are joining the information super-escalator that they are skewing take-up rates.

Ofcom said that while broadband take-up in the UK grew by three percentage points from 2009, it grew by nine percentage points among 65-74 year olds and by eight per cent among the over 75s.

It did not tell us what they are doing, but it did explain that this year saw a fall in the number of complaints about broadband providers, which suggests that things are going well.

However, and confusingly, while the number of complaints has gone down by 20 per cent to about 100,000, Ofcom said that there has been increased dissatisfaction about true broadband speeds and the way that received complaints are handled.

"There has been a increase in consumer dissatisfaction with broadband speeds (from 14 per cent 2009 in to 19 per cent in 2010)," it said in its introduction. Much of this might be down to the efforts that the providers take to thrust their speed claims down our Internet pipes, said Ofcom, which has already suggested alternate ways for them to advertise their wares.

Providers are not handling complaints very well, according to Ofcom, and apparently they dish out incorrect information when faced with an inquiry. They are also likely to avoid answering complaints completely and are reluctant to elevate any calls to a manager level. That must make for some very frustrating phone calls.

Ofcom has a solution for this, which it presumably thinks will alleviate frustrations. It said that where users have not had a response to a complaint within eight weeks, they would be allowed to take that complaint to a higher power that could resolve it.

Let's all hope then that none of those complaints relate to any critical services, like your Internet connection, we are apparently encouraged to quietly pray. Well, the hell with that.

Bloody Ofcom! Eight weeks to resolve an Internet connection issue? How about eight hours, you useless sods! Fire the lot of them, we must say, and hire some people who can do the actual job. µ



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