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85% of people in Manchester to gift connected gadgets this year

The typical family in Manchester has 30 devices connected to the internet – and their online activity has peaked during the pandemic, new research from BT Full Fibre reveals.

The average household in the North West has four smartphones, four smart TVs, three tablets and two of each of laptops, PCs, bluetooth speakers, smart speakers, games consoles and digital radios.

Their home now also boasts a boiler and thermostat, vacuum cleaner, health equipment like scales, security camera or doorbell and watch, which are also ‘smart’ – all connected to their Wi-Fi.

And homes are only going to get even more hi-tech this Christmas as 85 per cent plan to gift at least one digital device, the nationwide survey for BT Full Fibre found.

With millions of Brits home working and schooling and glued to their gadgets during lockdowns, home internet usage has reached record levels since March.

Three quarters say they have spent more time on the internet as a family during the pandemic and 36 per cent have been online for 50 per cent longer or more.

Daytime traffic across BT’s broadband network has more than doubled year-on-year, the firm revealed.

The time families spend on their smartphones and browsing social media has each rocketed by over 150 per cent since March, the survey of 1,500 adults with children living at home found.

The typical household now spends 20.8 hours per week on their phones; 18.5 hours watching TV or streaming services; 16.5 hours on social media and 13.4 hours video gaming.

And smartphones will be the most popular present this Christmas with a third – 33 per cent – of people in Manchester set to gift one.

Next come games consoles (36 per cent), laptops (27 per cent), tablets (25 per cent), smart TVs (21 per cent) and smart speakers (12 per cent).

Children are apparently the biggest ‘bandwidth hoggers’ on home networks, cited by over half – 51 per cent – of those polled while 27 per cent blame dads and 19 per cent mums.

One in five people in the North West – 20 per cent – expect to add an ultra high definition 4K TV to their home for Christmas and the typical family will have two 8K TVs in five years’ time.

But streaming TV was cited by 58 per cent as the main cause of slower internet speeds with 46 per cent blaming playing video games.

Seven in ten – 70 per cent – admit they ‘double screen’, watching TV at the same time as another screen like their smartphone or tablet.

And four in ten – 39 per cent – say they suffer problems with internet speed at peak times like 8pm to 10pm.

To help meet the growing needs of consumers in the 2020s, both today and in the future as modern families become more connected, BT has developed a range of Full Fibre broadband plans.  Up to 25 times faster than Superfast Fibre, BT Full Fibre boasts a super reliable connection, even at busy periods meaning customers can download a 4k movie in 34 seconds.

BT’s Sharon Meadows said: “With ever more connected devices in the home and Brits adopting technology so readily, we’re seeing a real need by families across the UK to future proof their home broadband connection. Our Full Fibre packages are designed to meet that need, now and in the years to come, providing ultrafast speeds and the best reliability on the market. So, no matter how large the demands of new Wi-Fi enabled devices in the home – whether it’s 8K video, virtual reality gaming or the ever-connected smart home – BT Full Fibre customers will be able to get the very most of them.”

The firm’s Full Fibre plans cost from £39.99 per month. For more information on BT Full Fibre and to check availability in your area, visit www.bt.com/broadband/full-fibre.

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