Press Release

PORTLAND, Ore. and COLLEGE PARK, Md., Dec. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — New research from Pivot Group and Telecompetitor offers compelling insight into consumer perspectives and perceptions regarding Gigabit Internet and other relevant broadband applications. With Gigabit Internet currently dominating the broadband industry, the “GigaWhat? U.S. Broadband Awareness, Needs and Perceptions Study” bridges the Gigabit Internet movement with the realities of the consumer marketplace. This research provides important data points and key findings that companies and organizations tied to the broadband carrier ecosystem can put to practical use to improve end-customer communication, education, marketing, and product adoption.

Data collected from 800 current Internet users from across the U.S. reveals very little awareness about Gigabit services, with 87% of survey respondents indicating they had not heard of Gigabit before this survey. Gigabit services typically emphasize speed improvements, but only one-third (32%) of Internet users know the speed of their current connection and roughly three-quarters (74%) indicate their current Internet speed meets their needs or is faster than what they need.

“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. “The introduction of Gigabit services into a given market will require significant customer education and effective marketing techniques to help achieve adoption success.”

A diverse group of service providers are powering the Gigabit movement from non-traditional players like Google, to large incumbents like AT&T, to small community-based service providers including telcos, cooperatives and municipal utilities. According to these research findings, consumers may favor more traditional Internet service providers for Gigabit services.

“Traditional service providers have the edge with Gigabit, with preference identified for traditional service providers over companies like Google to provide ultra-broadband services,” says Bernie Arnason, publisher of Telecompetitor and co-author of the study. “In a competitive market, Gigabit services may be the traditional service provider’s business to lose.”

Other key findings include:

  • Almost half (54%) of respondents don’t know a Gigabit is faster than a Megabit
  • A $70 price point for Gigabit may face resistance, with 70% of respondents indicating it to be too high
  • An overwhelming majority of consumers would select Gigabit service from a competing incumbent service provider over a municipal or electric utility
  • Almost two thirds (64%) of respondents would prefer to pay slightly less per month for their current speed than pay slightly more for a faster connection.

In addition to an in-depth examination of Gigabit Internet, the study also examines 1) awareness of common and emerging broadband technologies and applications; 2) Internet behavior and usage trends among consumers; 3) video streaming behavior and usage; 4) Internet satisfaction and ISP loyalty/churn factors; and 5) Wi-Fi importance and performance. More details regarding the study and its findings may be found at http://gigawhatresearch.com.

Press Release

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