Survey: Many feel their current internet is too slow and overpriced, yet few have upgraded

Three-quarters of respondents didn’t know what internet speeds would be adequate for their household and the overwhelming majority have yet to upgrade their service.

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To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, companies around the globe adopted remote work policies in recent months. At the same time, many schools and universities are conducting classes virtually to ensure the safety of students and staff this fall. Needless to say, this en masse shift to distanced learning and telecommuting has increased the need for high-speed internet for millions. A new survey analyzes consumers’ sentiment regarding their current internet capabilities, bandwidth needs, provider pricing expectations, and more.

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On Monday, HighSpeedInternet.com, a site to explore and compare internet providers,  released a report detailing the results of a recent anonymous US survey involving 1,000 people. Overall, three-quarters of those surveyed did not know the internet speeds their household needed to match current demands. As the author of the report points out, this could explain why almost half (45%) said their current internet is too slow although only one-in-six (16%) have upgraded their internet service plans since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

For many, marketplace pricing appears to be playing a role in the decision to forgo an internet upgrade. The majority of respondents, about six-in-ten (61%), believe their current internet plan is overpriced. Nearly half of respondents believe that a “reasonable price” for internet service is in the $20 to $50 range. However, the average cost of monthly internet service is approximately $80, according to the report.

The report notes potential reasons explaining the disparity between the number of people who report having inadequate internet speeds and those who have upgraded their service. For one, the author reasons that the fact that many do not know exactly what speed internet would be sufficient for their household “could be a barrier to upgrading.”

Additionally, the report notes that access to high-speed internet is not available to all consumers across the country. The author points out the gaps in network coverage around the US which thwarts many consumers from accessing high-speed internet. It’s estimated that more than 20 million people in the US lack access to broadband.

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To assist, the report offers a series of suggestions for consumers looking to upgrade their home internet plans.

“Get informed. Know how much internet speed your household needs, compare speeds and prices of different internet providers in your area, and find your best balance between price and speed,” reads a portion of the report authored by Rebecca Lee Armstrong.

“You may not have many options—there are wide swaths of the country that have access to only one or two internet providers. But you still may be able to renegotiate with your current provider or find a better deal elsewhere. The extra work may seem like a hassle in the short term, but it’s definitely worth it—a faster internet connection can improve your quality of life, and a cheaper internet plan can pay dividends for a long time,” Armstrong continued in the report.

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