DOC - Europa

Brussels, 8 July 2013
The need for speed: 45% of European internet users
willing to upgrade or change supplier for higher speed
Internet speed is emerging as a top issue for internet users according to the latest EUwide survey of how Europeans use the internet. Nearly half (45%) of Europeans
households would upgrade their Internet subscription or switch supplier for a higher speed
broadband, closing the gap with price as in the race for most important factor when
choosing an internet plan.
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes: "Consumers increasingly care about
their internet being fast enough to watch videos, for example. And for those who run
businesses from their home, speed is also a competitiveness issue. Consumers now focus
on both speed and price when making their choices.”
The survey also found that over half (54%) of households limit their national and
international mobile phone calls because of concerns about cost. Kroes says "This is the
smartphone era, where high quality mobile services are an essential part of daily life. It’s
not acceptable for half the population to be limiting their phone calls because of cost
issues, and it’s not acceptable that the lack of a connected single market encourages those
limitations.” However, the 2013 survey saw an 11% drop (from 60% to 49%) in the
numbers concerned about the cost of calls to networks other than their own domestic
networks. This is a clear sign that the Commission’s efforts to reduce mobile termination
rates are having a positive effect for consumers.
Other highlights of this Eurobarometer survey include:
Speed matters more and more
 Competition has effectively delivered affordable prices, while more attention will be
needed to ensure demands for higher speeds are met
 Around 40% have found it difficult to access online content and applications because
of insufficient speed or download capacity.
Quality of service
20% said they sometimes found it difficult to access online content or had apps
blocked on mobile phones (up 4 pp on December 2011). This was more likely to
occur when trying to watch videos (42%), listen to music (22%), download video
content for free (22%), watch live events (20%) or play online games (19%).
Sound quality was a concern. Only 38% agreed that sound quality is very good on
their mobile phones compared with 49% for landline phones and 25% for Internet
Open internet and net neutrality
 Video blocks are the most annoying net neutrality / copyright issue
 34% of adults use VOIP calling services (up from 27% in 2012)
Purchasing trends
44% of households have at least one mobile internet subscription (up from 30% in
45% of households purchase a bundle of communications services (eg a
combination of television, broadband, phone, mobile services) from the same
provider (45%)
40% (of the 45% of households) have considered changing their bundle provider,
but 29% say it is it is not easy to compare the terms of bundle packages
The E-Communications Household Survey has been conducted annually since 2006 – the
full report will be published in the coming weeks.
The survey aims to support policy development in the field of E-communications through
the regular gathering of facts and trends about the attitude of households and individuals
towards the provision of the main electronic communications services.
The fieldwork for this survey was completed in March 2013. 27,786 respondents from
different representative social and demographic groups of the EU population were
interviewed face-to-face at home. Because the fieldwork took place before the official date
of Croatia's accession to the European Union on 1 July 2013, results are presented for the
EU 27 and Croatia, and EU averages refer to EU 27 only.
Useful links
Digital Agenda Scoreboard
Digital Agenda
Neelie Kroes
Follow Neelie on Twitter
Email: [email protected] Tel: +32.229.57361 Twitter: @RyanHeathEU