Ofgem has revealed half of British homes could switch to a faster broadband service as it called on providers to inform customers about their best available deals. Their latest research showed less than half of 94 percent of UK homes and offices are taking up the opportunity for a speedier service. Sharon White, Ofcom chief executive, said: “We’re concerned that many loyal broadband customers aren’t getting the best deal they could. “So we’re reviewing broadband pricing practices and ensuring customers get clear, accurate information from their provider about the best deals they offer.”
But how exactly can you check if you would be better off switching providers, upgrading your account or simply staying put with your currency deal?
Boost Your Broadband, a campaign supported by Which?, is dedicated to helping customers find the best broadband for their area.
According to their website, superfast broadband is available to more than nine in ten premises in the UK, but customers are simply not aware of the potential to switch.
To find out if you could land yourself with better internet, Boost Your Broadband offers to following simple steps.
VIEW YOUR AVAILABILITY
The first process is to find out what broadband providers are available in your area.
Simply pop your postcode into their online checker to get started.
The website will then detail if you have standard, superfast or ultrafast internet available, based on their download speeds.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
Whether you are glued to Netflix, or simply use your internet to check your emails, we all use our broadband differently.
The next stage of the website will help you work out if you need standard, superfast or ultrafast internet based on the type of browser you are.
SO HOW DO I GET THE BEST DEAL?
Now you know what type of broadband is available to you, and what type of speed you are looking for, you can shop around for the best deal for you.
Whether you switch or stay put will depend on several variables.
You will need to determine if you are still in your initial contract period, which could block you from switching or upgrading your account.
You should be asking your current provider if you can get a faster service and how much it will cost.
It is always worth checking price comparison websites to determine if you can get the same type of package elsewhere.
But be aware that connection fees may apply and you could also be tying yourself down into a new contract.
In its price advise on its website, Boost Your Broadband notes: “Once your initial contract period runs out and any promotional deals have ended, the cost of your broadband might increase.
“In fact, research shows that people who have passed their initial contract period pay around 20 percent more on their broadband deal.
“You may be able to get your current broadband package more cheaply – either with your existing provider or by switching to a new one.”
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Majority of Canadian workers willing to take less pay for a workplace pension plan: survey
A majority (70 per cent) of Canadians say they’re willing to forgo a higher salary in exchange for a workplace pension plan, according to a new survey for the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan by Abacus Data.
The survey, which polled more than 2,000 Canadian adults in April, signals an opportunity for employers to build back the post-coronavirus pandemic working landscape better by expanding access to good retirement plans — whether they’re defined benefit, defined contribution or group registered retirement savings plans, says Steven McCormick, senior vice-president of plan operations at the HOOPP.
According to the survey, a secure retirement remains of greater concern for Canadians than concerns about their health, debt load and job security. McCormick says this has been a consistent worry the HOOPP has seen in survey results over the past couple of years. Nearly half (48 per cent) of respondents said they’re very concerned about having enough money in retirement, while 31 per cent were highly concerned about their personal debt load and 26 per cent cited their job security. Close to half of respondents expressed high concerns for their physical (43 per cent) and mental (40 per cent) health.
In addition, the pandemic has harmed the finances of more than half (52 per cent) of Canadians’ surveyed and it’s had a particularly disproportionate affect on the finances of younger adults. Adults aged 44 and younger said they’re twice as likely (25 per cent) to have had their finances greatly harmed, compared to those over the age of 60 (12 per cent).
Generally, younger adults tend to work in roles that may have been impacted most by the pandemic, says McCormick, whether in service industries that were shut down or frontline health care that have been busy but don’t always come with access to a pension plan. “Affordability is an issue, so I think their worries increased during this time.”
And while almost half (46 per cent) of Canadians surveyed said they’ve saved more money than they would have since the onset of the pandemic, among these respondents, over half (52 per cent) didn’t put any of their savings toward their retirement. Overall, most (63 per cent) Canadians surveyed haven’t set aside or saved anything for retirement in the past year, a five-point increase since 2019.
McCormick says this may be due to uncertainty or hesitancy about whether people’s immediate needs outweigh longer-term needs. And with 55 per cent of respondents noting they were very concerned about the cost of day-to-day living, he adds that rising prices have fuelled insecurity and worries so people are creating their own emergency funds right now.
While there’s a segment of the population who’ve saved more and, for them, the pandemic has created wealth, he doesn’t see this as a common narrative in the survey data. “If you don’t have access to a workplace pension or the opportunity to have things like automatic enrolment, the uncertainty of the time may have you holding onto money,” says McCormick. “In Ontario, we’re more optimistic about the pandemic than we were maybe a month ago, but there are still people worrying about whether there’ll be a fourth wave.”
In addition, more than two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents said a retirement crisis is looming and 65 per cent said saving for retirement is prohibitively expensive. It’s a common and shared dream for many people in looking forward to a secure retirement, says McCormick, noting for many, making that dream a reality remains elusive.