Are you paying too much for your broadband?

An estimated 10m customers are overpaying by not changing providers at the end of their deal

Slow speeds, rising prices and router failures have long been common gripes of broadband users in the UK. Added to that, it seems likely that millions are being charged too much for their service.

A new push for customers to avoid unnecessary price increases was launched by the communications regulator last week when Ofcom proposed providers be compelled to tell people when they were at the end of their minimum contract period.

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Citizen science

Ever wanted to contribute to research? All people-powered science requires is a phone or computer and a sharp eye

The Big Butterfly Count is the largest project of its type. It is on track to exceed last year’s total of more than 62,000 submitted counts. People participate by counting the number and type of butterflies seen in one spot over 15 minutes. Butterfly Conservation is using the data to track conservation work and the health of the environment as a whole.

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Have smartphones killed the art of conversation?

So we’ve gone off voice calls yet spend hours glued to our phones. But it’s simply that the rules of conversation have been redrawn in the age of WhatsApp, Snapchat and emojis

News of the un-newsy kind this week, fresh from an Ofcom study designed to confirm a belief in our worst selves: we are a nation addicted to smartphones but are repelled by the idea of making or taking voice calls.

Is this the death of conversation? Not quite, but it’s certainly more than a blip in the cultural history of communication: in 2017, for the first time, the number of voice calls – remember, those things you did with your actual voice on your actual phone – fell in the UK. Meanwhile, internet addiction keeps growing, presumably because we haven’t quite worked out what to do with all those hours we’re saving on talking.

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