I contend that Leichtman Research Group is not asking the right questions. If 77% of those surveyed do not know their Internet access speeds, then how could they know that they need greater speeds? The surveyors should have asked consumers about the applications that they would like to use such as watching 3D and high definition movies, video conferencing, home security, gaming, remote access to home data, etc. Other questions asked should be how many users in the house are typically doing these activities. Only when you see how consumers want to use their broadband services can you ascertain that the wimpy <10 Mbit/s is not enough for future use.
More than 70 percent of U.S. broadband customers are happy with their overall service, ranking it between 8 and 10 on a 10-point scale, according to Leichtman Research Group. A mere 3 percent scored their service with a 3 or less on the recently conducted survey, while just 26 percent said they’re “very interested” in receiving faster speeds at home. In other words, big, bold fiber efforts, such as Verizon’s FiOS, aren’t yet supported by consumer demand.
Leichtman Research Group surveyed 1,600 broadband-enabled U.S. households to get its data, which will undoubtedly be used to tout the current broadband status quo, especially after the Federal Communications Commission earlier this month released similar findings. And if 77 percent of people don’t know exactly what their broadband speeds are, and 44 percent aren’t interested in them getting any faster, as Leichtman has concluded, then these data are another nail in the coffin for faster broadband speeds.
From an ISP’s perspective, there’s no real need to invest in expensive fiber-to-the-home deployments or even cheaper DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades if the demand isn’t there. The lack of demand and quick subscriber take-up is one of the reasons Verizon has halted its deployment of FiOS fiber-to-the-home service and instead focused on achieving a 40 percent penetration rate among those homes that already have access to it.