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ISPs Losing £114m To Spam/Viruses

Posted: 29th Mar, 2004 By: MarkJ
New research from MORI suggests that Internet users would pay significantly more, or change Internet Service Provider (ISP), to be free of the SPAM (junk e-mail) and virus menace:


The first major independent research of its kind into Internet content security shows that consumers are so sick of the deluge of unwanted emails and malicious web content that the majority would pay significantly more, or change Internet Service Provider (ISP) to be free of the problem. The research, commissioned by specialist IT consultancy Detica and conducted by MORI, suggests that the first ISP to crack the problem will have Internet users flocking to sign up for their services.

The survey quizzed a representative sample of more than 1,000 members of the British public about their current experience of the Internet and e-mail. Respondents agreed that spam, viruses and obscene content are a major problem - 60% agreed they are an invasion of privacy and resent people being able to send it to them. Over half (55%) said it wasted their time with a similar number (51%) also stating they found it distasteful personally.

So, who should take responsibility for protecting consumers? The majority (58%) stated they look to their ISP to solve the problem, with 45% saying this is such a major issue they are willing to pay £2 or more per month on top of their Internet access fees to be protected. Nearly a third (29%) said the problem had become so severe they are prepared to pay £5 or more per month. This just a week after leading analyst firm, Gartner, reported that 60- 75% of incoming email received by their clients is spam.

Furthermore, two thirds of all Internet users said they would switch ISPs if an alternative offered protection from spam, viruses and malicious web content. Based on the latest statistics from Continental Research, which state that broadband Internet is currently used in 3.6 million UK homes, Detica estimates that ISPs are losing £114 million a year in revenues because they are not responding to customer demand for clean Internet services.

Simon Gawne, Director of Content Security at Detica, said: "It is surprising, based on the levels of investment going into Internet services in the UK and the highly competitive nature of the market, that ISPs are not fully addressing the security fears of their subscribers. This research clearly illustrates the level of public concern in using the Internet today and their expectation that ISPs will fix the problem. In offering clean Internet services, providers can not only address the needs of their customers but also help overcome the scourge of the digital age."

Typically it’s one thing for an ISP to promise security and quite another delivering it.
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