UTOPIA FIBER’S CUSTOMER FEEDBACK SURVEY REVEALS SEISMIC SHIFT IN INTERNET USAGE

November 17th, 2021

RESPONDENTS NOW SHOW STRONG PREFERENCE FOR MUCH GREATER SPEED, RELIABILITY, STREAMING, AND NET NEUTRALITY

Company Also Pulling Among Highest Numbers in Nation for Customer Satisfaction Scores

(Murray, Utah…..October 27, 2021)  Surprising results from a new survey of broadband subscribers released today by UTOPIA Fiber, the nation’s largest Open Access Internet network, reveal that an overwhelming number of adults are opting for Internet speeds that are far in excess of the current and proposed national standards. Survey results also reported that consumers’ desire for streaming services is far outpacing satellite TV, and that net neutrality – where a provider does not adjust Internet speed based on the type of content accessed – is extremely important to people.

Approximately 2500 UTOPIA Fiber subscribers, ages 19-65 were polled in fifteen Utah cities. The sampling size was from cities as small as Woodland Hills with a population of 1,600 residents to the second largest city in Utah, West Valley City, with a population of over 136,000. UTOPIA Fiber differs from the traditional incumbent models by building networks based on the Open Access model, which promotes competition by giving customers the freedom to choose which telecommunication services they want.

According to the “Customer Feedback Survey” results, 92.44% of respondents use the Internet for streaming TV or movies, using some services such as Disney+, YouTube TV, and Apple TV+ that didn’t even exist three years ago. However, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu were highest in terms of subscriber usage. Significantly, satellite service fell to 17.67% and cable ran 3.63% in household usage, compared with 2018 survey results.

“What we’re seeing is a seismic shift in the marketplace,” notes Kimberly McKinley, Deputy Director and Chief Marketing Officer of UTOPIA Fiber, who points out that given the choice, consumers now are opting for faster, more reliable fiber broadband for their daily activities. “Price was a little less of an issue, which shows that people are opting for speed, service, and content that more closely dovetail with their rapidly changing lifestyles and business needs.”

Among respondents, 95.78% said that Internet speed was either “extremely important” (67.59%) or “very important” (28.19%) with 43% of respondents choosing 1 Gbps or higher. UTOPIA Fiber offers Internet speeds ranging from 250 Mbps to 10 Gbps, the fastest speeds in the nation. Over 90% (93.33%) of respondents also said that the reliability of the UTOPIA Fiber network was either “extremely important” (65.79%) or “very important” (27.54%) to them, and a deciding factor in taking their service over incumbent carriers.

Not surprisingly, as consumers tend to be more mobile these days, the survey also indicated that the highest number of devices accessing the Internet at home were smart phones (97.83%), laptop computers (92.63%), and tablets (80.51%). In the home, however, high on the device list were smart TVs (77.49%), streaming devices at 72.69%, 56.50% video game consoles; over 40% were security devices, another indication of personal choices. 

“All of this data is yet another window into changing habits and tastes,” McKinley pointed out, who is especially pleased that that 63% of respondents said they would recommend UTOPIA Fiber to a friend or colleague, and that 78.11% either strongly agreed (55.21%) or agreed (22.90%) with the statement “I am glad my city invested in UTOPIA Fiber.”

“These are arguably the strongest numbers in the nation among all Internet companies,” she said. “Interestingly, most of the fifteen cities in which respondents live are also served by large incumbent providers, so this kind of customer satisfaction is a real coup for us, and speaks to the fact that people want quality and they want attention.”

The Customer Feedback Survey was conducted in 2021. Most respondents were male (74.54%), 63.50% of which hold bachelor/4 year or graduate/professional degrees; 51.15% are in households with annual income between $60,000-120,000; and 93.93% were homeowners.

About UTOPIA Fiber Created by a group of Utah cities, the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) is a community-owned fiber-optic network that uses the Open Access model to promote competition by giving customers the freedom to choose which telecommunication services they want. With fiber availability to over 130,000 businesses and residences in over 50 communities, UTOPIA Fiber is the largest—and widely considered the most-successful Open Access network—in the United States, and enjoys the industry’s highest customer satisfaction scores. Since 2009, the agency has successfully designed, built, and operated nearly $300 million worth of fiber projects throughout Utah, all of which have been funded completely through subscriber revenue, at no cost to taxpayers.

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