broadbandMany prevailing questions regarding the Gigabit services trend revolve around consumer perception and acceptance. Do prospective customers want Gigabit services? Do they really understand what Gigabit can do for them? What are they willing to pay for it? In partnership with Pivot Group, we recently published some market research that examines these issues, entitled GigaWhat? U.S. Broadband Awareness, Needs and Perceptions Study. It offers revealing insight into the mindset of end-customers regarding ultra-broadband applications.

Close to 9 in 10 Internet subscribers (87%) had never heard of Gigabit Internet before being asked about it during this survey, highlighting a real education need for service providers who intend to launch Gigabit service.

Marketing Gigabit Services
Perhaps the main 1 Gbps selling point being emphasized in the marketplace today is its superior speed over traditional broadband speed tiers. But this research reveals that only one-third (32%) of Internet subscribers are aware of their current Internet speed, suggesting a vast majority of Internet users have no speed frame of reference.

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Additionally, almost three-quarters (74%) of Internet subscribers indicate their current speed tier is either adequate for them or is faster than what they need, indicating marketing that emphasizes speed alone may not resonate.

As for Gigabit, over half (54%) of Internet users don’t know that a Gigabit is faster than a Megabit, suggesting the use of 1 Gig or 1 Gbps in marketing materials may not have any impact, or worse, may make prospects think their current service is actually faster.

“Service providers spend an awful lot of time and marketing spend emphasizing speed, but this research reveals consumers are confused regarding speed references and perceive that their current speed package is sufficient,” says Dave Nieuwstraten, president of Pivot Group and co-author of the study in a press release. “The introduction of Gigabit services into a given market will require significant customer education and effective marketing techniques to help achieve adoption success.”

Indeed, the introduction of Gigabit services creates a lot of buzz and PR value, but service providers will need to ensure they properly prepare their education, messaging, and marketing strategies to address this confusion in the marketplace to achieve successful penetration goals.

Find out more about this research and its findings at http://gigawhatresearch.com.

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