Ninety two per cent of Broadband Brits want to keep their internet connection despite the financial squeeze because it is so vital to their lives, a poll for leading ISP Plusnet revealed today*.
Thirty per cent – nearly five million** – would rather give up their magazine subscriptions, cigarettes and alcohol than their broadband. Fourteen per cent would sacrifice eating out or takeaway meals and 12 per cent going to the cinema.
Of those with broadband, more than half (58 per cent) are sticking with their current supplier or tariff although a third (34 per cent) are ready to switch if the credit crunch continues.
Only three per cent of the 15.3 million broadband subscribers in Britain are planning to give up their connection to economise, an indication of how important broadband has become to the nation.
Indeed, far from cutting back on their internet use, people are turning to it to beat the downturn with 59 per cent logging on to price comparison websites, 46 per cent paying bills online to get discounts, 45 per cent purchasing goods rather than going to the shops, 35 per cent using online auctions and 30 per cent reading the news on their computers rather than buying a newspaper.
Neil Armstrong, Plusnet’s Products Director, said: “The survey shows there is a high level of volatility in the broadband market as users shop around for the best deals.
“However, broadband is now so popular and central to the daily life of Britain that few consumers are ready to end their internet connection completely to make ends meet. Some are ready to switch suppliers to help with their household budgets but they still want to keep broadband.
“In fact, millions of people are using the power of the web to shop smartly and hunt down better-value goods and services.”
Award-winning Plusnet, released the poll findings to coincide with the launch of a new £16.99 broadband and home phone package*** aimed at helping those feeling the pinch.
Armstrong said: “This package has been designed so that you only pay for the broadband service you need.
“It is our response to the economic slowdown. Customers want value-for-money deals and we are confident this fits the bill.
“There are millions of people paying too much for their broadband and not receiving a decent service and they are looking for somewhere to switch. Plusnet is ready to welcome them.”
The Sheffield-based company’s own figures reveal that web browsing is the most popular online activity (63.3 per cent), followed by file-sharing (16.8 per cent), gaming (4.73 per cent), streaming (4.26 per cent) and email (2 per cent.)
Customers in the Solent area are the busiest web surfers, while the West of Scotland has the highest percentage of people sharing files such as music and films. South West London tops the list for watching and listening to streamed content and the North of Scotland has the highest percentage of gamers.
Plusnet users in the City of London, the country’s financial centre, were the busiest emailers.
* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov plc. The total sample was 2007 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between July 28-30, 2008. The survey was carried out online and the figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)
**There are an estimated 15.273 million broadband subscriptions in the Britain (excluding corporate connections) according to OFCOM’s latest figures. Thirty per cent of that figure is 4.5819m.
*** The new Plusnet Essential package includes 1GB of broadband usage, home phone line rental and all weekend UK landline calls*. Like all of Plusnet’s broadband packages usage between midnight and 8am is free, so customers won’t be eating into their allowance during this time. Additional usage can be bought for £1 per GB in advance or £1.25 per GB after.
Checkout the latest deals on PlusNet broadband here.