UTOPIA Fiber’s 2023 Customer Feedback Survey
October 2nd, 2023
UTOPIA FIBER’S 2023 CUSTOMER FEEDBACK SURVEY REVEALS GROWING CONSUMER AWARENESS AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN FIBER BROADBAND CHOICES
AS FIBER NETWORKS EXPAND VIA MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES, CONSUMERS INCREASINGLY FAVOR LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS AND COMMUNITY-BASED RECOMMENDATIONS
Company Notes Consumers Prioritize Decision Factors Beyond Speed, Reliability, and Price When Selecting an ISP
(Murray, Utah—October 2, 2023) As American communities continue to invest in expanding fiber-to-the-home infrastructure, the importance of community engagement and early education about fiber’s benefits becomes increasingly evident as measured in a recent survey of broadband subscribers released today by UTOPIA Fiber, the nation’s largest Open Access fiber Internet network. Key findings indicate consumers prioritize local partnerships and community-based recommendations in addition to speed, reliability, and price when selecting an Internet Service Providers (ISP).
Approximately 4,000 UTOPIA Fiber subscribers, ages 18+ were polled in twenty Utah cities—a response rate up almost 60 percent from the 2022 survey. The sample size was from cities as small as Woodland Hills with a population of 1,500 residents to the second largest city in Utah, West Valley City, with a population of over 136,000.
According to the “Customer Feedback Survey” results, respondents reported that they selected UTOPIA Fiber based on factors categorized as (extremely, very, and moderately) important factors: Speed (97.76%), Reliability (97.53%), Price (91.71%), the Utilization of a Fiber Network (89.94%), and Dislike of Large Telecom Companies (78.79%).
When survey respondents were asked how they heard about UTOPIA Fiber, an overwhelming majority (80.40%) said that they learned about it either from their city or municipality (41.18%) or through a friend or neighbor (39.22%). Many individual responses cited various sources, including awareness generated by the initial project announcement, anticipation of UTOPIA becoming available in their area, positive word-of-mouth recommendations, and a sense of pride in choosing a locally owned, community-focused company over larger incumbent providers.
“The significant takeaway here is that consumers prioritize factors beyond price, such as local investment and choice,” remarked Kimberly McKinley, Deputy Director and Chief Marketing Officer of UTOPIA Fiber. “Furthermore, consumers have shared that their communities have improved significantly (71.55%) due to municipalities’ wise decisions to invest in fiber, providing every home and business with equitable opportunities and services at a very reasonable and fair price. The overall feedback from our survey suggests community engagement is an essential element in the success of building fiber networks.”
Demand for ISP choice and competition is on the rise, supported by both local municipalities and residents who consider fiber optic networks essential infrastructure. Some municipalities even choose to take ownership of their own open access networks at no cost to taxpayers. Recent events in Bountiful City, UT, illustrate that a well-informed community and city, dedicating time to research and evaluate network models, can successfully overcome opposition efforts to obstruct fiber projects.
These survey findings underscore the importance of early community education and involvement in the fiber project lifecycle. Among respondents, 71.44% emphasized the importance of UTOPIA Fiber being co-sponsored by their city, while a significant 93.38% valued the ability to choose their internet service provider. Furthermore, 87.68% said that it was either “extremely important” (67.34%) or “very important” (20.34%) that their internet service provider does not control internet speed based on content type.
Additionally, 93.07% of respondents reported using the internet for streaming TV or movies, closely followed by email (92.97%), web surfing (90.23%), shopping (87.39%), social media (81.82%), and video games (70.97%). McKinley concluded, “It is gratifying to hear that our customers strongly agree that UTOPIA has improved their streaming experience (87.28%), delivered fewer internet outages than their previous provider (85.34%), and enabled every member of their family to use an increasing number of internet-connected devices without bandwidth issues (88.75%).”