Dutch interest in faster broadband increasing

Almost half of Dutch consumers either already have or think they will soon need a broadband connection of 50Mbps or more. This is up from just over a quarter a year ago, according to research by Telecompaper.

The increase is mainly caused by more people having a 50 Mbps connection, after some providers increased download speeds in the past year. A total 12 percent of consumers don’t yet have at least 50Mbps broadband and expect to need it within the next two years, the Telecompaper survey on consumer broadband interests found. This suggests a potential market of 840,000 households for the faster broadband services, up from 700,000 a year ago. The proportion still uncertain whether they will ever need 50+ Mbps was stable compared to the same survey last year, at approximately a third of consumers.

As 50 Mbps is already quite common and no longer considered something for the future like when we first conducted this survey in 2009, the speeds of 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps were added this year. The resulting survey found that almost a third (32%) of consumers expect to need 200 Mbps at some point in the future, including 3 percent who can already download at 200 Mbps over fibre networks.

The survey in previous years found consumers expected to need fibre technology in order to access speeds of at least 50 Mbps. As 50 Mbps offers have become more prevalent on the market, consumers see that other technologies can also suffice. However for 200 Mbps, almost two thirds of the Dutch still expect to need fibre. Notably, many more consumers answered mobile internet as a technology for faster broadband in the future, probably due to the recent introduction of LTE.

At the end of 2012 there are 1,450,000 households connected to FTTH, which is 440,000 more than one year before. This is reflected in the growing number of consumers reporting they have fibre broadband, which has halted the growth in cable broadband’s market share. The latter is still the most-used technology for broadband though.

The survey also looked at what upload speed consumers currently have and what they think they will need in future. Two-thirds of consumers are unaware of their current upload speed. Four in ten are also uncertain if they will ever need a 50 Mbps upload speed. Almost a third think such a speed may be needed in (the near) future.

The report ‘Dutch Consumer Connected 2013’ is based on the Telecompaper Consumer Panel, an online survey conducted between March and May 2013 among almost 15,000 consumers aged 12-80. The report also presents the results for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Results are CBS stratified for education, age and gender. In addition, the report offers findings on what people find important for their broadband connection and their feelings on several statements about fibre. Some results are split by household income, age group and broadband technologies.

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