Customers Say Broadband Speed and Reliability Are Improving

  • Broadband Competition
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA - Customers are more satisfied with residential high-speed Internet this year than they were last year, mostly because of higher connection speeds and fewer service outages.

Every year, J.D. Power and Associates asks consumers to evaluate their Internet service providers based on performance and reliability; cost of service; customer service; billing; and offerings and promotions. This year, overall satisfaction reached 639 on a 1,000-point scale - 22 index points higher than in 2008. Satisfaction with performance and reliability now averages 687, a 43-point increase from 644 in 2008.

In many instances a household's Internet connection acts as the backbone of its voice, video and information services, making the provider's ability to provide a fast, reliable connection particularly critical," says Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates. "As households become more dependent on services provided via the Internet, eliminating outages and providing consistent connection speeds will become necessities in Internet service providers' business models."

J.D. Power found that consumers are becoming more interested in bundled telecom services, with the proportion of customers saying they will probably or definitely bundle services in the next year increasing to 52 percent from 43 percent in 2008. The most popular telecom bundle is a video/Internet combination, selected by about a third of customers who bundle services. Triple-play (voice, video, data) bundles increased from 16 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2009.

"Internet service may be considered the linchpin of the bundled offering, serving to drive both customer loyalty and incremental sales opportunities," said Perazzini. "As competition for new customers increases among Internet service providers, retaining the existing customer base while promoting additional voice and video will continue to be critical."

The highest-rated ISPs included Verizon in the East, Bright House Networks in the South, WOW! in the North Central region and EarthLink in the West.

The study findings include the following key trends:
  • The proportion of high-speed Internet service customers loyal to their provider has increased by two percentage points from 2008, to 32 percent in 2009. Additionally, 66 percent of customers state they "definitely will" or "probably will" recommend their provider to others in 2009-an increase of four percentage points, compared with 2008.

  • Among customers who contacted their service provider to resolve a problem or question, average hold times have decreased by nearly 30 seconds in 2009, compared with 2008.
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