July 30 2014 Latest news:

A broadband customer satisfaction survey has given overwhelming support to two providers, while showing that niche broadband companies are upping the ante and pulling ahead of the major providers when it comes to keeping customers happy.

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BE Broadband and O2 Broadband were the clear winners in the annual Broadbandchoices.co.uk survey.

More than 11,000 UK broadband customers gave their opinions about value for money, reliability, customer service and speed.

Plusnet and Virgin Media also did notably well, while several other well known names won awards.

Michael Phillips, product director at Broadbandchoices, said: “Broadband services have never been under so much strain.

“Networks are under mounting pressure from the increasingly sophisticated services that consumers are using online, and it is only through direct research like ours that the real experience of consumers can be accurately tracked.

“The sheer volume of respondents to our survey demonstrates how important broadband has become to UK households.

“As competition in the broadband market has increased, a number of small broadband firms have invested heavily in their customer service capability - a move which is clearly paying dividends as BE and O2 swept the board and Plusnet achieved numerous commendations.”

General consumer dissatisfaction with broadband speed is at its highest level for four years with around a third of consumers unhappy. This figure has doubled since 2008.

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