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Survey: Majority prefer ISP-provided Wi-Fi gear

Seventy-eight per cent of consumers across the US and UK would prefer if their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provided them with their in-home Wi-Fi networking gear, versus purchasing it themselves, according to a new survey commissioned by premium in-home wireless systems provider AirTies. The survey also found 43 per cent of consumers reported having areas in their home or apartment where Internet service does not work, and that 54 per cent have called their ISP to complain about their home Internet or Wi-Fi.

The new survey of 1,050 respondents in the US and UK, with multiple Wi-Fi users per home, was commissioned by AirTies, and conducted by Qualtrics. Notably, 74 per cent of respondents said they would consider upgrading to a faster tier of Internet service if they were ensured better speed and coverage in every room of their home or apartment; and 77 per cent said they would be willing to pay an extra monthly fee for better Wi-Fi.

“When most consumers think about their own home Internet experience, they don’t view Wi-Fi as something separate. This is why they are quick to call or blame their ISPs for performance issues,” said Philippe Alcaras, CEO of AirTies. “Improving this experience shouldn’t be the responsibility of consumers or third-party retailers, but rather their ISPs. In fact, the vast majority of consumers would prefer that, and would consider paying extra for a premium Wi-Fi experience that works in every corner of their home.”

The survey also found that:

  • Consumers ranked home Internet/broadband service to be more important than pay-TV or home telephone service; 63 per cent ranked it #1, while less than 20 per cent ranked either TV or home phone as being most important;
  • 68 per cent of respondents said they would pay between $5 (€4.75) and $10 per month extra for better in-home Wi-Fi;
  • 67 per cent of respondents would consider purchasing small, extra Wi-Fi Access Points (APs) – in addition to the router they currently have – to place around their home to provide better speeds and coverage, but 78 per cent of all respondents said they would prefer that their in-home Wi-Fi routers/hardware be provided by their ISPs instead;
  • 70 per cent of consumers reported having at least five Wi-Fi devices (such as smartphones, connected TVs, and tablets) in their home; 58 per cent have between 5-10 devices; and 11 per cent have between 10-15 devices; and
  • 92 per cent of respondents said they are streaming video on Wi-Fi connected devices in their homes.

Alcaras continued, “We believe better in-home Wi-Fi systems will follow a similar history to the DVR. Service providers eventually recognised the need to offer DVRs to subscribers to improve the customer experience, instead of ceding this responsibility and opportunity to third-party retailers. Progressive ISPs are now starting to do the same with premium Wi-Fi.”

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