A 2017 survey done by EY of 2,500 UK residents has shown that 56% of households now spend a greater amount of time online than watching TV (being online includes streaming services such as Netflix).
The study has also shown the shifting in attitudes towards internet as 77% of people view broadband as a utility service like electricity.
50% of people believe that being able to get online is a vital part of their social lives which is up from 48% the previous year. 25% of participants in the survey said that they are now turning to mobile devices as the main way that they use the internet which is up from 16% in 2016. Out of the households who took part 45% believe that the internet is vital to work or operate a business from your own home, this figure is up from 41% the previous year.
It’s obvious that advances in technology are changing the way people live but EY stressed that “not all consumers are on the cutting edge”. Their reason for saying this was the fact that some 40% of homes who took part in the survey still use landline on a weekly basis and don’t have access to “superfast broadband”. On top of this 36% still tune in to watch live TV on a nearly daily basis and 31% still rely predominantly on a desktop as their primary means of using the internet.
It’s not hard to see how 77% of homes now see internet as just another necessity like electricity or gas and 60% would rate the consistency of the internet as more important than having access to high speeds. 21% stated their dissatisfaction with the way in which their provider handled any queries or issues that they might have had. The amount of people who feel that being able to access the internet remotely increased dramatically, from 38% in 2016 to 51% in 2017.
Praveen Shankar, EY Partner and Telecoms Sector Leader, said:
“Households are enjoying unprecedented levels of connectivity, transforming their social and home lives as well as their viewing and working habits. This is driving major changes in what they consume and how they do so. However, companies need to focus on allaying customers’ doubts about trust and privacy in order to maintain momentum and growth.”
Concerns about privacy online has also increased, with 71% saying they would have reservations about handing over financial details online even if it was a company they knew, this figure is from 61% in 2016).
It’s clear from this study that being able to be connected is becoming something that more and more people are seeing as a necessity rather than a commodity and with the internet beginning to eclipse older technologies like TV and home phones it’s not difficult to see why.