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Survey – Only 12% of UK Homes Cut Spending on Broadband, Mobile or Streaming

Thursday, Sep 14th, 2023 (12:22 pm) - Score 936
confused uk consumer

A new survey of 2,500 UK consumers, which was conducted by business and tax advisory firm EY, has claimed that, despite the cost-of-living crisis, only 12% of “digital households” have reduced or plan to reduce their spending on home broadband, mobile connectivity or streaming.

The survey also found that 49% of respondents had not taken any measures cited in the study to reduce spending on connectivity content and home technology in response to the cost-of-living crisis. Similarly, nearly half of UK households say the economic climate has made them less likely to pursue new connectivity and content experiences (44%) and adopt new technologies and gadgets for the home (43%). And 62% say pressure on finances has made them more likely to shop around for the best connectivity or content deals.

Despite growing concerns among some households about rising broadband and streaming/pay-TV prices (cited by 67% and 56% respectively), perceived value-for-money remains consistent year-on-year and has risen substantially in relation to content from broadband providers (55%, up from 42% last year) and smart home products (39% vs. 35% last year).

This positivity is compounded by increased enthusiasm for premium broadband offerings, with 35% of UK consumers willing to pay more for good customer service and back-up connectivity (34%). Turning to streaming services, 37% of respondents would be willing to pay more to access all content via a single platform.

Finally, the study suggests that network reliability continues to be a key pain point for consumers. One-in-four respondents (22%) say they regularly experience an unreliable home broadband connection. Perceptions around mobile data are more concerning: despite increasing 4G and 5G coverage levels, 24% indicate that they experience an unreliable mobile connection often or very often.

Overall, just over a third of households (35%) rank improving the reliability of their connection as the biggest service improvement their provider could make.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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8 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Anonymous says:

    I guess to be fair, broadband is quite cheap compared to other things, even with the yearly price rises. I can get 38mb/m from Vodafone for £12 with their social tariff. Compare that with shopping, £12 wouldn’t last a week, let alone a month.

    1. Avatar photo Andrew says:

      I was going to go for that, but 38mb/s was too slow for me

  2. Avatar photo Iain says:

    Yeah, folks can’t cut broadband spending during a cost of living crisis because broadband companies keep putting up prices mid contract, without giving folks the chance to cancel or change provider.

    The corporate double standard, and pitiful regulation, is astounding.

  3. Avatar photo Winston Smith says:

    Why *only* 12%? That’s around 3.5 million households, which is a significant number of people who feel it neccessary to curb their spending.

    1. Avatar photo Anon says:


      I changed my spending patterns in response to rising prices, what of it? You’d expect people to shuffle around their money if prices rise, that’s how economics and markets work.

    2. Avatar photo XGS says:

      In China or India it would be a lot more than 3.5 million households, in Iceland a lot less, so percentages make far more sense than absolutes. 12% isn’t even 1 in 8, and given how boned many of us are financially thanks to the current situation ‘only’ is fair enough.

  4. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    Some people seemed to even agree to silly prices, a lad at work have just recontracted to BT FTTC at £34 a month and he thinks that is cheap. In other words, he can’t be bothered to look or is scared to move from BT.

  5. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    My broadband is a pretty good price, at £24 for 500Mb/s, and my mobile is only a fiver, I must admit I do have to do something about the streaming, mainly Netflix as I don’t use it that much, but I did knock audible on the head and the full Amazon Music.

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