May 19, 2015
Following last week’s report that people would rather lose an unspecified finger than their broadband connection, a new report from comparison site Cable.co.uk claims that people generallly believe that losing their broadband connection for any period of time is more annoying than their car breaking down. Based on a survey of 2,500 UK residents, users also voted broadband disruption more annoying than receiving bad customer service, their boiler failing, waiting in for a delivery that doesn’t turn up and transport delays. Broadband drop-outs were given an average score of 9 out of 10, with 10 being extremely annoying. Half of users rated it 10 out of 10. The report’s authors conclude that this is likely to be because of feelings of a lack of control and an inability to communicate, something we now take for granted.
Commenting on the results, Cable.co.uk editor-in-chief Dan Howdle said: “Go back ten years and very little of our work lives, social lives and downtime depended on a stable broadband connection. These days, for many of us, the variety of uses – some vital, others recreational or social – for a home broadband connection is extraordinary. Many of us have become dependent. When we lose our internet connection, we lose much of our ability to engage within our social sphere. We are cast outside of it without even the ability to look in.
“Entertainment, both passive and interactive, relies on us having purchased a broadband deal that’s stable and reliable. And, for many of us, gone are the days when we would return home from work or school to sit down and simply ‘see what’s on’. Instead, with a Smart TV, set-top box or games console, we can pick and choose to watch what we want, when we want. We bank online, buy and sell online, plan our activities, browse, research, interact and navigate, and a stable broadband connection, for many, constitutes the bridge between our home and our office; our link between the casual, social and professional elements of our lives.
“When our car breaks down, there’s a phone call and a wait – probably less than an hour – and a small financial penalty to fix the problem. We have power over it in that we get to decide when, how and to what extent our problem is solved. A loss of broadband services, on the other hand, not only restricts our ability to socialise, work, communicate and be entertained, but the period over which the disruption extends is indeterminate. We have no power over it at all.”