Broadband Customers Not Willing to Put Up with Streaming Slowdowns

Now that the final ruling has been handed down regarding net neutrality, those of us who have been enjoying high-​speed streaming content from our favorite video sites might begin to notice a slowdown. Earlier  this year, a U.S. appeals court ruled that Internet service providers do not have to give the same streaming speeds to all web traffic. This decision has opened the door to tiered charging and prompted Consumer Reports to survey consumers on their opinion about potential slowdowns.

A big majority, 71%, of consumers told researchers they would seek to change companies if their Internet Service Provider starts to increase charges based on use. ISPs might attempt to charge higher fees when customers stream data from specific sites like Netflix or Skype. In other cases, the ISP might even try to slow down or block these services. These types of services consume more bandwidth than a typical online search session so ISPs might want to recoup the costs associated with allowing access to video-​heavy sites.

The 800 households with high bandwidth service in the Consumer Reports study told researchers they’ll take the following steps if their ISP tries to increase fees:

  • Switch to a competing company 71%
  • Complain to ISP 70%
  • Complain to Congress/​FCC 46%
  • Post complaints on social media 39%
  • Drop Internet service completely 10%
  • Do nothing 7%

Ad-​ology Research data shows that nearly half, 46.7%, of Likely High-​speed Internet Service Purchasers are urban dwellers which is 30% higher than average. Not surprisingly, this audience skews higher than average for taking the bus, train or a taxi to work. The popularity of these forms of transportation for this audience may prompt ISP marketers  to consider an outdoor ad campaign.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-​ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.