Eurobarometer report 2013: E-Communications Household Survey

posted 19 Aug 2013, 03:24 by Costas Kalogiros
For this year's edition, emphasis has been placed on consumer perceptions of broadband speed, on the quality of experience of access services, on consumer affordability, on factors for subscribing and switching between communication service providers and on the transparency of tariff information.

More specifically,
the main themes of the summary are: the different types of telephone access available to individuals and in the home, Internet access and its quality, penetration of communication service packages, consumer sensitivity to the speed of the Internet connection,the quality of experience of communication services, affordability of telephone and Internet services, the transparency of communication service pricing, factors in switching Internet service providers and service package providers and television access and means of reception.

Below you can read an abridged summary of the key findings of the 2013 survey (the full report can be found here):

Penetration rates of Electronic Communication Services in the European Union

When broadband and narrowband access are combined, approximately seven out of ten EU households have home Internet access (68%). This proportion has increased by four percentage points since the 2012 report. The main reasons are lack of interest (65%), cost (19%), and that either the respondent or their household members did not know what the Internet was (7%).

Consumer sensitivity to Internet connection speed

The survey found that nearly six out of ten respondents (57%) did not know the maximum download speed of their Internet connection. Furthermore, nearly a quarter of the respondents who knew their download speed said that their actual Internet download and upload speeds did not match the terms of their contract.

The price and technical features of the connection (maximum speed and download capacities) are the main selection criteria when subscribing to an Internet connection. Overall, slightly less than half of all respondents would be willing to change their Internet packages for higher speed or greater downloading capacity (45%), broken down as follows:

  • 29% of the respondents would only change service provider to get a higher speed connection for the same price,
  • 5% would only pay more for a faster Internet connection offered by their current Internet provider and
  • 11% respondents would be willing to move for either both options.


Quality of experience of communication access services

Slightly less than three out of ten respondents had been blocked from accessing online content or applications either often or sometimes while using the Internet from home (29%). Furthermore, approximately four in ten respondents (43%) either sometimes or often experienced difficulties accessing online content and applications from home due to insufficient Internet speed or downloading capacity.

On the other hand, the proportion of respondents who reported that access to online content or applications is sometimes blocked on their mobile phones has slightly increased to 20% from 16% in the previous report. Furthermore, around four in ten respondents thought their mobile Internet connection provider was responsible for blocking content (37%) and more than three in ten thought the application or content provider was responsible (32%). Approaching one in five respondents believed they were blocked from accessing content due to geographical copyright restrictions (17%) or by the manufacturer of their mobile phone (15%).



Over half of EU citizens limit their national and international mobile phone calls because of concerns about cost (respectively 55% and 54%).
Around one-third of EU citizens (34%) use the Internet to make cheap phone calls (using voice over IP technologies), which is a seven percentage points increase since the 2012 report.


Price transparency and switching service package providers

Slightly less than one third of EU citizens disagree that it is easy to compare the terms of service packages (29%), a 3-point increase since the 2012 Eurobarometer report. More than four in ten respondents reported that they have considered changing their bundle provider (42%), a nine percentage point increase since the previous survey (33%).