Free Newsletter

  • Which training workshop is of most value to your organisation?
  • Preparing your business for the Internet of Things
  • The Internet of Things and Cloud computing
  • Radio technologies for connecting the Internet of Things
  • Smart Cities and intelligent infrastructure
  • WebRTC and the end of the telco
Meet the leaders of the mobile app economy ? Open Mobile Summit, London, June 8-9
Navigation Strategies Europe 2011
ITU Telecom World, 24-27 October 2011 at Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland
Ubiquitous Location and Positioning Technology, 6th-7th December 2011, Chicago
Advertize your telecoms job

FCC survey shows why US consumers are scared of changing ISPs

The FCC has just come out with a working paper on when and how Americans can be tempted to move broadband suppliers


Published: 16 December, 2010


The FCC has just come out with a working paper on when and how Americans can be tempted to move broadband suppliers. The survey was conducted in April and the results published this week. It took the form of asking people who have not switched internet providers about their reasons for not moving, at the same time as asking those who did change supplier how the process of switching went for them.

As we all know, and this is no different in the US, it’s tough to switch broadband suppliers and some 62% have never done so, at least not in the last three years. Of the remaining 38%, some 23% have only switched once in this timeframe, and just 13% have switched more than once. Not quite sure what happened to the other 2%.

Clearly there is a high correlation between moving broadband suppliers and moving home, with 43% of those who had switched also moving residences within the same three year period. In many cases moving home would take you outside of your service supplier’s ambit, and you would HAVE to change supplier, but similarly if you are going to experience broadband service disruption, you might as well take a fresh look at who is competitive in the market.

Probably the most worrying thing in all of this is that from the people who have NOT changed ISP 69% say they have not even considered it. Is this true of choice of car? Shaving cream or TV manufacturer? We suspect not. There are just too many reasons, mostly inconvenience reasons, for not changing supplier.

When asked about things that might keep them from switching service, broadband users with the choice of more than one provider in their area say they were mostly put off moving by set up installations fees, the pure hassle of ordering and waiting for the service, deposits, bundle knock on affects and changing their email address. Others were aware that they would have to pay early contract termination fees.

So why would the FCC hold such a survey? Well to us that’s pretty obvious. Creating broadband competition in the US is tough and there clearly isn’t enough of it. In other parts of the world regulators have done a lot to reduce these “drag” reasons for not moving supplier, making it so you can make the change swiftly and without interruption in service, for instance by providing a special switch code for each transaction that is a shared identity for the customer across two suppliers. Other moves involve ensuring transparency in punitive charging mechanisms and when contracts expire.

It looks to us like this will form the basis of US regulation on making broadband more competitive, something that will be needed to go hand in hand with new broadband options as the Broadband Stimulus package comes towards fruition in the creation of new services.


Add Comment
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!

    European Carrier Mobile Broadband Network Performance

    Analysing and comparing the data speed, latency, network quality and smartphone penetration for 94 mobile carriers in 28 European countries....

    Next Generation Haptics: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    An in-depth study of the growing popularity of haptics-enabled tactile feedback on mobile devices to augment UI interactions and enrich...

    Satellite Phones: Will Dual Mode Help the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?

    Satellite phones have followed an arduous path since their much-hyped launch more than a decade ago. The hype was followed by an e...

    Mobile Widget Platform Market Analysis: Understanding the Business Case and ROI

    This white paper presents an analysis of the mobile widget platform market, as well as metrics supporting a mobile carrier?s busin...


You must be a registered user to post a comment. or
Username *
Email *
Comment *