While the enormous growth and progress of U.S. broadband over the last decade continues to be under-appreciated by some in Washington, real consumers who use the service everyday continue to express their satisfaction with their service.
The latest data comes via a report from Leichtman Research Group, finding that, “71% of US broadband Internet subscribers are very satisfied with their current Internet service at home.” On top of that, the report says people are even pleased with the speed of their Internet connection.
If this sounds familiar, the FCC’s own broadband study which we covered here a few weeks ago that said 91% of home broadband users report being at least somewhat satisfied with the speed of their service (with 50% saying they are very satisfied). Also similar to the FCC’s survey, the Leichtman research notes, “77% of broadband subscribers do not know the download speed of their Internet service at home.”
This last data point raises an interesting question – If consumers are satisfied with their broadband service and it performs the functions they want, is it important to know the exact speed of your home broadband service?
The Institute for Policy Innovation recently tackled this question and raised some interesting analogies:
Can most people rattle off the horsepower of their car or their lawnmower? Can most people even tell you what “horsepower” means? (Horsepower is a measurement of work over time. Move 33,000 pounds one foot in a minute and that is one horsepower). What about their furnace? Can they opine on how many BTUs it produces? (BTU stands for British thermal unit. Heat one pound of 60 degree water by one degree at a pressure equal to one atmosphere and you have one BTU).
I am guessing that people are satisfied with their service because it consistently works, it consistently zips along at a pace that accomplishes what the user is trying to do, and it consistently helps them with school, business and entertainment activities.
It is great news that most consumers are satisfied with their Internet service, but cable is continuing to invest so we can offer even faster Internet speeds and a variety of tiers for consumers to choose the service that best meets their needs.
Cable operators have invested more than $160 billion over the last decade in infrastructure upgrades, maintenance and equipment, but more is happening everyday. And many cable operators are increasing speeds for customers, often without increasing price.
Ultra-fast Internet – or DOCSIS 3.0 as we know it – was deployed to 52 million homes and business around the country, or 43% of cable’s national footprint, by February 2010. Offering speeds from 50 to 100Mbps, DOCSIS 3.0 is providing cutting edge services for many homes and businesses now, and well into the future.
The reason why we continue to invest in our network and increase the speeds we’re delivering is to ensure this satisfaction continues.