Parents are being put under pressure to get faster broadband – by their children, it has emerged.
Research revealed half the nation’s 5-18 year olds want a fast-reliable internet connection for streaming TV services, online gaming and keeping up with friends on social media.
As a result, almost half mums and dads have changed broadband provider in the past five years – and of those one sixth did so because their child wanted quicker connection.
A further one in 10 did so because the lack of speed caused household arguments and over one in four said they switched because their previous provider ‘wasn’t fast enough’.
In London alone, nine in 10 said fast internet connection is important to their children.
Over one third of parents admitted their child ‘influences’ their purchasing behaviour when it comes to broadband providers and four in 10 said their offspring’s online usage makes them feel ‘pressured’ to have quicker connection.
Charles Davies, Hyperoptic’s MD ISP said: “Children and teenagers are driving a need for ultrafast broadband with 4k streaming and online gaming relying on fast services with rock solid reliability.
”With the school holidays underway, this need for speed is sure to increase.
“We can see from the results how much children impact parent’s choices.
“1Gb service allows you to download a game in eight minutes – compared to over two hours on average broadband speeds, so it’s no surprise.
“Even when they’re limiting screen time, having a quick connection that can handle multiple devices is important to families across the country.”
Those in Birmingham feel most strongly about their children swaying their buying habits and over one third of Mancunian parents admitted their youngsters make them feel under pressure.
With half of kids using the internet to stream films and play on apps at least three times a week, 72 per cent said their offspring get ‘frustrated’ if the internet is sluggish.
Surprisingly, 17–18 year olds were found to be the most demanding when it comes to the internet, and spend around three hours a day using it, compared to the average of one hour and 45 minutes.
Across all age ranges, internet usage goes up during the summer holidays when children use the internet for an extra 38 minutes a day.
The research was commissioned by Hyperoptic, the UK’s fastest residential broadband provider – rolling out across major cities in the UK.
The research also found online use has had an effect on modern discipline with over one third of parents banning screen time as punishment, while three in 10 said they have turned off the Wi-Fi.
Half of parents limit their child’s time on tech devices to an average of one hour and 27 minutes.
And over half of mums and dads in Southampton do so because they need to use it themselves and the connection is too slow if the kids are also using it.
A resourceful two thirds used this to their advantage though and have used tech as a means to motivate their children to do their homework or other chores.
In Newcastle alone, 57 per cent of parents admitted they have used devices to encourage their children.
Of the 2,000 parents with children living at home, one in five found their internet has slowed down since their child started using it.
One quarter of parents in both Edinburgh and Cardiff said they have noticed the connection slowing or dropping out when their children are home in the summer holidays.
And one in 10 of those polled via OnePoll are not happy with their current broadband speed with over half arguing this is because it isn’t quick enough for all the household devices.
The research found the average age for kids to start using the internet without supervision is nine, but one sixth were doing so between the ages of one and four.
Since their child started using the broadband, one in five found their internet has slowed down and one sixth said it now costs more.
Half of those polled from Birmingham, Leeds and Bristol have changed broadband provider in the past five years.
And over two thirds of parents in Sheffield, Liverpool and Glasgow agreed their children get ‘frustrated’ if the internet is slow.
Charles Davies, added: “Full fibre ultrafast broadband means you don’t need to worry about speeds dropping at peak times or seeing the dreaded buffering or frozen screen, which frustrates all of us, not just the kids.”