THE JURY’S OUT FOR THE FUTURE OF BROADBAND Thursday 6 December 2007 PDF Print * Customer demand is in place for super broadband applications (61% of customers want super fast DVD downloads)1 BUT: * The Internet is not currently delivering “high end” services2 - (Results from ICM poll) * Customers still predominantly only carry out narrowband surfing3 * Customers don’t want to pay for 100Mb broadband4 (Only 40% say yes to paying more) BroadbandChoices.co.uk has conducted a survey to gauge public opinion on next-generation broadband, following the recent eForum Government conference. 61 per cent of internet users rated the ability to ‘download DVD-quality films quickly’ as the service they most want from next generation broadband. However, when respondents where asked if they would pay anything extra for “Super Fast” 100Mb broadband servicessome 60 per cent responded either ‘no’ or ‘don’t know’. Michael Phillips, product director at BroadbandChoices.co.ukcomments, “The results clearly demonstrate continued confusion amongst consumers regarding their need for faster connections. With future consumer demand still unclear, there is an argument for delaying UK broadband network development in the short term and instead keeping track on broadband progress in other countries so that we might learn from their experiences. Consumers definitely want more from their broadband. When asked ‘which future service would be of most interest?’ respondents rated 'downloading films' and 'watching TV' as the most popular activities. However, broadband connections are currently not delivering, given that 'watching TV' or 'downloading films' presently accounts for the least amount of time spent on the internet in a given week.” Phillips stated “This highlights the fact that the current services offered to consumers are simply not of a high enough standard to warrant utilising this service, and that if speeds were improved consumers are more likely to use broadband to watch TV and/or download films. “Obviously broadband has a long way to go if it is to encourage consumers to use these kinds of services. Upgrading speeds to 100Mb would certainly a step forward in terms of renewing a positive public perception of broadband, which is currently missing. “The key question is, if broadband has the capability for 100Mb speeds will ISPs be able to deliver this successfully to all of their customers?” At The Westminster eForum event Peter Phillips, a high-ranking Ofcom regulator responsible for its strategy policy, told the eForum that the UK had done "quite well" in the current generation of broadband, but that the lessons learned must be applied to future markets. There was also concern from several quarters, including Ofcom, over how to open up the debate and engage the public. Phillips comments “BroadbandChoices.co.ukcarried out over 100,000 of our own speed tests, and found that the average customer only got 39 per cent of their promised speed. Therefore, we would advise customers to switch to a ‘light user’ package if they are only checking e-mails and surfing the web as they will only being using a couple of Gigabytes of data in a month. Phillips concludes: “In summary, the research demonstrates a genuine interest in future, significantly faster broadband services, although the jury is out on whether consumers would be willing to pay more for the privilege. Questions also hang over whether ISPs will be able to consistently deliver 100Mb speeds since performance to date has been mixed, at best.” - Ends - Notes to editor: Overview of BroadbandChoices.co.uk survey results (carried out by ICM research) based on a survey of 1027 respondents: 1. The highest number (61 per cent), of respondents rated ' downloading DVD quality films in five minutes' as the service of most interest 2. Respondents rated 'watching TV' or 'downloading films' as being the least amount of time spent on the internet in a week, but then when asked ‘which future service would be of most interest’ rated, 'downloading films' and 'watching TV' as the most popular. (Also broadbandchoices.co.uk’s own speed test results, carried out in November found that the average customer only got 39 per cent of their promised speed.) 3. 100 per cent of the respondents used the internet for checking emails compared to only 28 per cent who used it for watching TV programmes. 28% spend 6-10 hrs per week checking emails and 27% spend 6-10 hrs per week surfing, shopping and banking. The least time spent using the Internet (only one-hour) was notably the highest for watching videos, downloading films, playing video games and watching films 4. When respondents were asked if they would pay extra for significantly higher speed broadband: - 39 per cent said 'yes' - 30 per cent said 'no' - 30 per cent said 'don't know' What activities do you carry out online? - 100 % of respondents used the internet to check emails - 98% of respondents used the internet to surf/shop & bank - 28% of respondents used the internet to watch TV programmes - 56% of respondent used the internet to watch video clips - 46% of respondents used the internet to download music and films - 37% of respondents used the internet to listen to the radio - 49% of respondents used the internet to play online games Of the respondents that cited these activities what number of ‘hours spent pent week’ was highest: - 28% spend 6-10 hrs per week checking emails - 27% spend 6-10 hrs per week surfing, shopping & banking - 30% spend only 1hr per week watching videos - 18% spend only 1hr per week downloading films - 12% spend only 1hr per week listening to the radio - 8% spend only 1hr watching TV Which future broadband services might you be interested in? . This was followed by 48 per cent who rated 'downloading high definition TV programmes on demand'. The service which was of least interest was 'using high definition online gaming' at only 19 per cent. Top light user packages * PlusNet Option 1– 8Mb (1GB download limit) £9.99 per month (no set up fee and free 1 port router) * Eclipse Option 1 – 8Mb (2GB download limit) £14.99 per month (1 month free if switching / free modem / excellent customer service) * Tesco Broadband – Value – 512K (3GB download limit) £13.97 per month (free modem/set up) Customers can their usage by downloading a usage meter (there is a free usage meter available on http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/broadband-download-monitor...) About BroadbandChoices.co.uk: http://www.BroadbandChoices.co.uk BroadbandChoices.co.uk is a broadband comparison service in the UK. Unlike other comparison sites, BroadbandChoices.co.uk doesn’t just focus on price but total package value. Consumers can now refer to this impartial Website to access the latest broadband advice and deals, to help them make the right choice. What makes BroadbandChoices.co.uk different: * Most comprehensive range of consumer guides and advice * Emphasis on value rather than cost alone * Variety of ways to rank products according to individual priorities * Detailed product information * A community of like minded people where you can read reviews or share your thoughts * Up-to-date information regarding key industry developments Access to bespoke interactive tools (speed tester & download monitor) For further information contact: Rachel Lear / Louise Mapp Ascent PR T: 0118 988 0501 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Phillips BroadbandChoices.co.uk T: 020 7700 3245 E: email@example.com This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of BroadbandChoices.co.uk in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.