Source: Kevin Maloney, CCM
For immediate release
Kevin Maloney, (203) 710-3486
First comprehensive CCM survey of town residents on broadband internet access finds barrier to universal high-speed broadband is not availability, but affordability and reliability.
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), today (Monday, February 27) released the results of its first-ever statewide survey of residents in Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities assessing the capacity and adequacy of the broadband internet access; and found that the primary barrier to universal adoption of high-speed broadband is not availability, but affordability and reliability.
See attachment for the complete findings from the survey.
CCM worked with GreatBlue Research to conduct and compile the results of the survey. Headquartered in Glastonbury, GreatBlue is a full-service market research company that offers research data across a wide variety of industries. CCM and GreatBlue conducted a survey open to all Connecticut residents from May – September of 2022 to understand broadband connectivity across the state and to identify, direct from consumers, what areas of the state are unserved, underserved and served.
Over the course of four months CCM received feedback from over 2000 Connecticut residents. This data will help to support municipal efforts in securing federal funds for broader, more equitable deployment of broadband across the state and to increase reliability in areas where there is already access.
“The state of connectivity in Connecticut is better than we originally thought, and the survey highlights key areas across the state where investments must be made to create opportunities for access, reliability, and affordability,” concluded Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director and CEO.
“The education of consumers is critical, and the survey demonstrated a disconnect between what consumers have versus what they actually need,” noted DeLong. “One bottom line is Connecticut residents remain unsure what their internet provider’s promised speeds are. We need to strategize and collaborate with the State on next steps using data to leverage federal dollars in targeted areas of need.”
Key results of the survey include:
Only 52 out of 2,197 respondents reported not having internet at their home. More than two-thirds of these respondents (67.3%) ranked "affordability" as the number one reason for not having internet at their home. One-half of these respondents (48.4%) ranked "access (service is available, but speeds are low)" as their second reason for not having internet at their home, while a similar frequency of respondents (47.8%) indicated "service is unreliable" as the third ranking for why they do not have internet at their home. Overall, only 2.4% of all survey respondents reported they do not have internet at their home, and among those few respondents without internet at their home, only a small segment of respondents reported “availability” as the primary barrier.
Over two-fifths of respondents (45.1%) completed the survey on their "PC or laptop." A similar frequency of respondents (44.0%) utilized their "phone" to take the survey. One-half of respondents (49.4%) mostly use the internet for "entertainment," while more than one-fifth of respondents (21.9%) mostly use the internet for "telecommuting."
Among the 418 respondents who indicated having problems with their internet service as a reason for not using the internet at home for telecommuting, telehealth, or remote education, more than one-third of those respondents (36.1%) indicated their "service is unreliable" as the most significant barrier to using the internet at home for these services, while one-third indicated "affordability" (33.0%) as the most significant barrier. Less than one-third of those respondents reported "access" (28.5%) as their most significant barrier to using the internet for these services.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents (72.3%) reported having "Cable (Comcast, Cox, Charter)" as the type of internet service at their address, while 13.7% have DSL (Frontier, Verizon). Less than one-in-ten survey participants (8.6%) have "Fiber (GoNetSpeed, Frontier, Verizon)" as their internet provider. Over two-thirds of respondents (67.1%) reported they are "very satisfied" (22.7%) or "somewhat satisfied" (44.4%) with their internet service.
Survey respondents that have Fiber (GoNetSpeed, Frontier, Verizon) reported the highest levels of satisfaction with their internet service (82.7% “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied”), followed by “other” internet service (77.8%) and “fixed wireless” (77.4%). The lowest levels of satisfaction were recorded among survey respondents with DSL (Frontier, Verizon) (59.3%).
Over two-fifths of respondents (43.4%) indicated they are "unsure" of their internet provider's advertised maximum download speed. Less than one-fifth of respondents (19.2%) reported their maximum speed advertised for their service is "greater than 100 Mbps and less than 300 Mbps.
Respondents dissatisfied with their DSL, Fiber, Satellite, or Fixed Wireless internet access indicated “unreliable service” their primary reason for dissatisfaction, while those dissatisfied with their “Cable” internet service indicated “cost” as the reason.
Key conclusions drawn from the above data and results are:
Based on these results, the primary barrier to universal adoption of high-speed broadband is not availability, but affordability and reliability.
Only 4 of 2,197 residents reported they could not get internet at home, but nearly 300 respondents noted that affordability and reliability prevented them from using the internet to work from home or engage in telehealth and remote education.
Similarly, residents overwhelmingly reported that cost and reliability were the primary reasons for dissatisfaction with their service.
Finally, many residents are unsure what they are paying for: A significant number of residents (37.2%) stated they were unaware of their advertised speeds; and 23.7% of residents who reported dissatisfaction due to speeds and a subscription below 300 Mbps download reported speed tests higher than their advertised speeds.