Online gamers voice woes regarding broadband connections

A recent survey conducted by uSwitch revealed that 77 per cent of households with online gamers had issues with their broadband ISP connections, particularly when it came to dropped connections, buffering and slowdowns.

The research, which polled 2,000 adults living across the UK (but weighted so that it gives an accurate national representation), found that 37 per cent of houses with people who played online multiplayer video games experienced problems with internet disconnections, 35 per cent with video buffering, and 34 per cent with web pages loading slowly.

Beyond this, 7 per cent claimed that slow internet was the foundation for most arguments created between online players.

However, it appears the uSwitch survey overlooks a number of factors that may impact the broadband issues faced by online gamers. Problems such as having incorrect LAN configuration, firewalls, poor WiFi signal and congestion in the local network may also contribute to the weak internet speeds and therefore the inability to optimise online gaming performance.

Although other factors are likely to influence internet speeds received within homes, the study revealed that 16 per cent of the respondents had less-than-30Mbps speed broadband connections, whilst the average speed for most gaming households was found to be 58Mbps. Naturally, it is understandable as to why this can impact online performance, especially when digital games are often between 50 and 200GB in size.

Broadband expert at uSwitch, Ernest Doku, commented: “Jumping online to help your squad storm a fortified bunker can be taxing on your broadband connection, especially if other people in your household are trying to do other bandwidth-heavy tasks like streaming or video calls at the same time.

"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. 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."

Doku’s recommended that gamers look beyond headline numbers when choosing broadband ISPs, particularly as they will require higher bandwidth levels and ultrafast services if they are frequent online video game players.