BroadbandIf they had to give up one service (video entertainment, mobile, broadband), U.K. consumers would ditch video (49 percent) or mobile (30 percent) before their fixed network broadband connection (two percent), a survey of  more than 10,000 U.K. consumers has found.

That might come as a surprise, as many would presume the mobile would be the most favored service. But at least for respondents to this survey, fixed network broadband access is the most important service, not mobility.

That finding suggests broadband is the key end user value for a fixed network, at least among these surveyed U.K. residents, beating even mobile phones. The issue, going forward, might be the ways fixed network broadband access providers can leverage that apparent value.

“The Big Broadband Survey” was conducted by thinkbroadband between June 2012 and October 2012 on the website.

By some studies, consumer spending on mobile devices increased during the Great Recession of 2008 and spending also increased for communication services. That pattern hasn’t changed.

Nor does it seem that there was much impact on subscription video entertainment spending, though some consumers might have dropped a premium channel in favor of expanded basic service.

On the other hand, no matter what people might say, global communications revenue growth clearly seems to have slipped in the wake of the 2008 Great Recession.

The point is that most consumers in developed markets might not have made drastic changes in their buying of communications and video entertainment services in the last Great Recession. So it still is hard to say what might happen were tough times to linger indefinitely.

Nor is it clear whether the thinkbroadband findings are in some way atypical of “most” consumers. The survey is skewed towards early adopters and information technology-literate users.

About  41 percent of respondents described themselves as “confident” with IT and 49 percent said they considered themselves “power users.”

Still, 51 percent of respondents say they use broadband “for personal use only.” Some 46 percent of respondents use their broadband for work.

The survey suggests that “propensity to churn” is much lower among older users (65+), who are twice as likely (56 percent) to stay with their broadband provider for more than four years, compared to users aged 18 to 24 (28 percent).

About 56 percent of users review their choice of broadband package at least once a year. Some 28 percent rarely review their choices, the study suggests.

Download speed is the most important factor for those considering switching. About 33 percent rate it as their primary reason for considering switching providers.

But 64 percent say download speed is one factor in such decisions. Price was deemed significant in 47 percent of cases, while service quality was an important consideration 43 percent of the time.

As often is the case, buyers say several attributes, including “quality/reliability” (36 percent) “download speeds” (21 percent) and “price” (15 percent) are important buying criteria.

Churn issues notwithstanding, the most intriguing finding was the apparently stronger value placed on fixed broadband, compared to mobile service.

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