A recent poll that has been run on BroadbandWatchdog.co.uk has found that 56% of broadband users who took part are looking to change their broadband provider in 2011.
The poll that we ran asked “Do you think you will change broadband provider in 2011?”
Mark Ward from BroadbandWatchdog.co.uk said:
“Having over half of broadband customers looking to change their provider in 2011 is good to hear. Customers need to keep shopping around to get the best broadband deals available to them as not all broadband providers will upgrade existing customers to the latest deals and pricing plans automatically.”
Since people started their current broadband deal prices and offers are likely to have changed, switching broadband providers may bring some great new introductory offers available. The cost of broadband isn’t the most important factor though according to the results of one of our previous surveys (“Reliable broadband” the most important factor when choosing a broadband provider) where only 10.8% of broadband customers put Cost as the most important factor when choosing a broadband provider.
In the previous poll we ran it was “broadband reliability” and “broadband speed” that were the most important factors so we could perhaps take this latest poll as suggesting that customers are not finding their current broadband providers offer broadband that is reliable enough or fast enough.
With fibre broadband starting to get rolled out across the UK from BT who are aiming to cover 66% of the UK and Virgin Media already having a fibre optic cable network that they are looking to extend to cover half of the UK this could be an added incentive to prompt many customers to switch from standard ADSL broadband connections to faster more reliable fibre broadband connections. Added to the fact that BT and cable provider Virgin Media are working hard to get customers to sign up to their own fibre packages we are likely to see some very good deals put on offer for customers.
764 broadband users took part in the survey that has been run on the www.broadbandwatchdog.co.uk website for the last couple of weeks.
Broadband has been voted the innovation that has had the biggest positive impact on peoples lives over the last 10 years.
2,200 people took part in the survey done by “The Foundation” which required them to list their top 3 innovations that have been beneficial in the last 10 years. The results were dominated with online and internet related activities and services.
The top 10 were:
- Home Broadband
- Online Shopping
- Chip and Pin
- Digital Cameras/Photography
- Online comparison sites
- Community Recycling
- Health labelling on foods
- Low-cost air travel
- Consumer GPS/Sat Nav
Half of those that responded put Home Broadband as their number 1 as giving the most positive impact on their lives. The reasons given for the various things people voted for were also taken, with 66% saying the usefulness of it, 55% said it was due to time saving. Cost savings were the reason for 40% while only 28% said it was because it was for cutting edge technology as the factor.
Charlie Dawson, Partner at The Foundation, said:
“This survey shows what good and bad innovation looks like to customers. Home broadband was the winner, perhaps surprising if you thought innovation was all about shiny new gadgets. It’s a reminder of how useful broadband has become for most people in the UK. It allows us to do lots of things more quickly, more effectively and with a lot less effort, from shopping to dating to finding stuff out. Perhaps this explains why 71% of UK households have broadband despite it being an extra cost that no one had to pay before it existed”
Virgin Media has over 4 million cable broadband customers making it the second largest ISP behind BT.
Around 20 % of Virgin Medias customers are receiving broadband speeds of at least 20Mb which in real terms is over 780,000 homes now signed up to either the 20Mb or 50Mb services on offer. The popularity of the higher speed broadband services was showing as 1 in 3 of each new customers signed up for these extra fast fibre broadband speeds available.
Currently on the 50Mb broadband service Virgin Media had 118,000 customers.
The popularity of Virgin medias broadband services grew tremendously in 2010 as overall Virgin added 76,000 new customers which was a huge leap from 2009 where they added 17,600. In the fourth quarter of 2010 Virgin nearly matched 2009′s total for the year by adding 17,100 new customers alone!
Virgin Media customers tend on the whole to take out bundles with the packages, with 63% of subscribers on Triple play services and 11.8% being Quad-play customers.
Bringing broadband to rural areas of the UK could take longer than initially expected to make sure that it is done right and not rushed.
The chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) spoke out after last week there were complaints from MP Ian Lucas over the length of time that it was taking for four pilot schemes in the Wrexham area to take place, with the schemes still not having been put out to tender.
Anthony Walker, the Chief Executive of the BSG said:
“There’s a lot of work going on, but it’s complicated and there’s a lot to learn still about what the best and most effective approaches will be.
It’s important to recognise that nobody’s really done this before in terms of building out next-generation networks into challenging rural locations and therefore it takes time to work out how to get it right.”
The governments plans is to roll out “digital hubs” to rural areas of the country where the likes of BT Broadband and Virgin Media find it not financially feasible to roll out their own services to.
These “digital hubs” will be connected to with a high speed connection to the nearest exchange and then from there each communities would take responsibility to deliver the broadband to individual premises.
It all forms part of the UK governments plan to have the best broadband network in Europe by 2015 and is being backed with £830 million to achieve this aim.
A recent survey has shown that a fast broadband connection could well be a deal breaker when it comes to buying a house.
The survey, done by ISPreview found that 68.8% of the 733 people who filled out the survey would be put off from buying a beautiful new house if it didn’t have a fast broadband connection.
However, when buying a house around half of the people (50.4%) said that they would pay more yet 49.5% wouldn’t pay more for a house with faster broadband which means that it’s is a pretty even split as to if people are willing to pay a premium for a fast broadband house or not.
It is likely that now with the roll-out of fibre broadband across the UK, houses that will be connected to the next generation fibre network could put these sellers at an advantage over those who are still on standard ADSL broadband connections. It could likely see some towns with fibre broadband become more popular over neighbouring towns that are not connected to a fibre broadband network which in turn would potentially drive up house prices in certain areas.
When asked how important broadband is to their home lives a large 73.9% said that it is “Critically Important”, 24.2% said it was “Average Importance” and just 1.7% said it was not important.
The results of the survey are slightly flawed as it was an online survey and as such those who use the internet are more likely to view broadband speeds and importance more than those who don’t, but with so much of the UK population now using the internet it is likely that the next time this survey is done and fibre broadband is available more that the results may start to weigh more in towards broadband playing an ever increasing factor with houses and their saleability.
North Wales is to receive £10 million from the government to invest in high speed fibre broadband.
Pwllheli and surround areas in North Wales will benefit from the funding which was taken from the £530 million pot of money that has been allocated to “Broadband Delivery UK” to extend superfast fibre broadband across the UK.
Chancellor George Osbourne said:
“This funding will support the Welsh economy and help drive the private sector-led recovery by driving innovation and commercial opportunities in communities across Wales.
This is just the first wave of funding for Wales from the over half a billion pounds we have already set aside to extend superfast broadband across the UK.”
This announcement came not long after complaints were made by Ian Lucas the Labour MP for Wrexham about the length of time that “Broadband Delivery UK” were taking on delivering the four pilot schemes scheduled for the Wrexham area. The pilots were announced in October last year yet they have still not been put out for tender so starting them is still an unknown timescale away.
Broadband reliability is the most important factor to most broadband users when choosing a broadband provider according to our latest survey.
The results of a poll we have been running asking broadband users “What is the most important factor when you choose a broadband provider?” found that “Broadband Reliability” is the most important factor with 44.4% of the votes!
“Broadband Speed” had been the expected result to top the poll but it came in second spot with 35.6% of the votes while the biggest surprise was that the “Cost” was only the most important factor for just 10.8% only just ahead of “Customer Service” at 9.2%.
A total of 620 people took part in the survey over the last 2 weeks.
The results show a change in the way people view broadband, over the last few years we have seen big price battles between broadband providers to offer the cheapest broadband deals to customers and broadband is now on the whole priced far lower than it originally was. It could well be as a result of cheap broadband prices helping to make broadband more popular and affordable to a wider audience that it has now managed to become one of the most used services available to people.
With broadband reliability being voted the most important factor when choosing a broadband provider it shows that broadband is a fundamental part of many peoples lives and access to it is now expected and not just hoped for. It is this change in views of broadband which drives the need for fast reliable broadband, with so many parts of peoples every day lives revolving around using the internet then it stands to reason that having a reliable broadband connection to allow them to get along with their online business is a necessity.
This latest survey highlights that broadband providers need to concentrate on making sure that the service they offer customers is fast and reliable.
BT has sorted out issues surrounding the broadband speeds customers in Northern Scotland were receiving towards the end of last week.
Broadband customers in Shetland, Easter Ross, Aviemore and Elgin were effected with slow broadband speeds from Thursday with BT fixing the problem on Saturday.
The issue was resolved by replacing equipment at the Inverness exchange.
Virgin Media are increasing the speed of their XL Broadband package by 10Mb up to a speed of 30Mb while dropping the monthly charge plus offering existing 20Mb broadband customers the chance to upgrade for a one off fee.
From today the Broadband XL package will offer fibre broadband download speeds of up to 30Mb with the expected downloads expected to be at at least 90% of this stated speed. Along with the 50% speed increase from 20Mb the price is also being reduced from £20 per month to £18.50 per month when taken with the Virgin Media home phone service.
Those on the current 20Mb XL Broadband package don’t have to upgrade as Virgin will keep this package running for existing customers but for a one off fee of £30 they can be upgraded to the new improved and cheaper XL Broadband package. The one off fee is to cover the costs of activation and also to upgrade users routers and modems to the new Virgin Media DOCSIS 3.0 Super Hub.
Virgins Executive Director of Broadband, Jon James, said:
“As consumers continually demand more and more from their broadband, the unique power of our next-generation network means that we’re able to turn up the dial to meet their needs. With so many devices connecting to the internet at home these days, our new 30Mb service will give Virgin Media families that extra boost needed to make everything run smoothly, with speeds that don’t slow down depending on where you live.”
Last week Virgin announced that they had topped 4 million households now connected to it’s fibre optic network.