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Leichtman: Majority of consumers happy with broadband speeds

Only 3% claim complete lack of broadband availability, while U.S. achieves 70% sign-up rate.

The Federal Communications Commission is out to save broadband for consumers and elevate the stature of the U.S. among the world’s broadband-elite countries, but according to a new report from Leichtman Research Group, broadband speed is not a pressing issue for many consumers.

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In a recent survey, Leichtman found that about 71% of U.S. respondents were “very satisfied” with their current residential broadband Internet service, having rated satisfaction 8-10 on a 10-point scale. (Leichtmen surveyed 1600 households in March and April.) Only about 3% ranked themselves as “not satisfied," rating satisfaction 1-3.

Also, 77% of broadband subscribers admitted to not knowing their home download speeds, even though broadband speed tests are abundantly available. Despite the lack of knowledge, 66% of survey respondents rated their connection speeds in the 8-10 range, with just 6% grading their speeds at the bottom level.

Furthermore, 44% of respondents said they are “not very interested” in receiving faster broadband speeds at home, though another 26% said they would be “very interested.”

In terms of broadband availability, Leichtman found that only 3% of the households surveyed didn’t have broadband available to them at all, while a smaller group — 1.4% — actually wanted broadband but don’t have availability in their area. Another 1% said cost was the main reason they haven’t subscribed to broadband service. That would seem to suggest that lack of availability is not as pervasive a problem as it has been perceived. Meanwhile, lack of service provider choice may be a bigger issue — about 17% of broadband subscribers said that there is not another high-speed Internet provider in their area, other than the one they have.

Leichtman figured that about 70% of U.S. households were signed up for broadband service at the time of the survey, up from just 20% in 2004.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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