Social Tariffs Toolkit
Introduction

What internet speed is best?


15 Mbit/s is best for small households of 1-2 people who:

  • Only want to browse the internet.
  • Have two devices online at the same time.
  • Can wait 30 minutes to download an HD movie.
  • Want to be able to stream online TV at TV quality.
  • Want to use social media apps without delay (e.g. Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok)

36 Mbit/s is best for households of 2 people who:

  • Download, stream or video call on two devices online at the same time.
  • Only want to wait 15 minutes to download an HD movie.

50-67 Mbit/s is best for households of 3-5 people who:

  • Run 3-5 smart devices at the same time.
  • Download,  stream or video call across multiple devices at the same time.
  • Play online games with multiple players.
  • Want to download large files quickly.

150+ Mbit/s is best for households of 5+ people who:

  • Constantly use their internet service (e.g. a member of the household works from home all the time).
  • Video conference on 4-5 devices at the same time.
  • Stream and play video games (e.g. on Twitch) on multiple devices.
  • Want to stream in higher resolutions, such as 4K, with little or no delay.

How does this work in practice?

Persona 1

I am living alone in a flat in Hackney. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and various other reasons, I have been in and out of work so I receive  Universal Credit. I often browse the internet using my laptop and phone. Sometimes, on the weekends or in the evening, I like to play games on my PlayStation or stream movies and shows on my laptop and phone. 

What internet speed do I need? In this case, an internet speed of 36 Mbit/s would be ideal. Because this person is using demanding applications, such as video gaming, they need a fast connection so they can play without latency.

Persona 2

I live with my family in Willesden. I am a single parent of twin sons in primary school and have to manage childcare and work. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, my children’s schoolwork is being set more and more online and, in order to accommodate for this, the school has provided my sons with two laptops  to complete work on. My ISP charges me a lot monthly and internet speeds are often not enough for all the family to be online simultaneously with a good connection. 

What internet speed do I need? In this case, an internet speed of 36 Mbit/s would make the most sense. This would enable the boys  to access the online learning they need whilst also allowing their parent to access internet services with a good connection.

Persona 3

I am a young adult living in a houseshare with four of my friends. Two of them work from home and are always taking video calls or using the internet in order to complete their work – so they are constantly using bandwidth. One of my friends also streams and plays video games on Twitch as a side hobby. On our current shared broadband contract, I often find that shows I want to watch take a long time to load and, recently, when I’ve been doing job interviews online, the connection is poor so it is hard for me to find work. 

What internet speed do I need? In this case, a connection speed of 150 Mbit/s would be necessary in order to provide fast internet to everyone living in the house. Because there are two people using the internet all day and another who streams and plays video games regularly, the current bandwidth is insufficient to provide a consistently good connection for everyone.