While many believe that the UK’s broadband infrastructure is currently not good enough, a survey conducted on behalf of O2 suggests that millions of people are actually paying for more bandwidth than they need.
The findings from the survey suggest that while the average consumer is playing for an ‘up to 20Mb’ connection – most respondents would have been better off paying for a cheaper 8Mb package.
The survey sampled 2,000 people and found that 77 per cent using their connection for emailing, 74 per cent for web page browsing, 51 per cent for banking and 35 per cent for social networking – the latter figure seems on the low side to us.
However, service that demand higher speeds were used far less with only 18 per cent of the respondents streaming content, five per cent downloading music and only three per cent downloading films.
This equates to £700 million a year being spent on packages that aren’t needed – or £2.1million a day.
Felix Geyr, Head of O2 Home and Broadband, said in a statement, “62% of broadband consumers in our survey would prefer their ISP to provide packages based around their specific needs. Therefore, our industry needs to tailor its services to people’s needs, help consumers understand exactly what they should be buying and avoid marketing based solely on speed.
“It would be much more transparent if we took the same ‘a la carte’ approach offered to customers buying digital TV packages, where people can opt in to obtain more expensive services like film and sport.”
O2 quotes Sebastien Lahtinen, co-founder of thinkbroadband.com, who said that, “This research clearly highlights the need for the industry as a whole to re-think the way it sells broadband. Consumers need to be educated about what kind of service they need to cover their daily usage and the industry needs to help them to make informed choices. Whilst some users will want the fastest possible package, others may find they can save money by picking a package that is more suitable to their specific needs."
Surprise, surprise then that O2 is about to offer three new packages based around usage – The Basics, at £8 a month for O2 customers or £13 for other, the All Rounder, for those that download and stream in moderation – at £12 a month for O2 customers and £17 for those who aren’t – and the Works – a £20/£25 a month package for those that download a lot.