Fibre Readiness Survey - Speed is the Killer App

In 2010 a survey on business use of Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) was conducted.  Earlier this year (2015) it was decided to survey the TUANZ membership once again and to invite the Greater East Tamaki Business Association (GETBA) to participate given the length of time UFB had been available in that area.  The survey was conducted online during the month of June 2015.

Over November, each week we will publish a post that covers off a key finding from the survey finishing up with our thoughts on the opportunities that we see arising from the survey results. We have also published the data to the Figure.NZ site and you can see the results here - note that at present that although the graph titles state that it is “TUANZ members”, the results include the GETBA results as well.   If you want to know more of the background and the response rate you can read that on our website here.

 

This week we look at the respondent's view that SPEED is one of the key drivers to take a fibre service.  In the survey we asked a series of questions that attempted to understand the key drivers for taking a fibre service  In some ways it was unsurprising that the key underlying reason was the reliable speed of connectivity.

However when asked what speed broadband they would like to buy in future (n= 142), none of the respondents who already have fibre or UFB (n 70) = selected VDSL or 30 Mbps/10Mbps plans and 42% of that group would purchase plans of 1Gbps or more. Of those without fibre (n = 72), it was interesting to note a general preference for lower speed plans, with the exception of the 1 Gbps plan (selected by 13%), which has been heavily marketed through Gigatown and other campaigns.

Of those respondents who had taken up UFB or fibre at their head office or single site, the majority (45%) were on plans of 100 Mbps symmetric or less. Almost 30% were on 1Gbps symmetric plans or more (including those on dark fibre). This appears relative to the greater sample of SME respondents than corporate.  Of the more than 42% (n=92) on copper broadband, around 23% reported they were on a VDSL connection. The same number didn’t know what speed their fibre connection was.

There are indications that opportunities lie in improving broadband speeds at branch offices. Nearly 45% of respondents (n= 83) had branch offices and although this sample diminished further when asked about the type of broadband connection they had (n=65), just under half were still on copper.

The trend to uncapped plans was confirmed with around a third of respondents no longer tied to a fixed amount of data.

 

Other Drivers of uptake:

 

Price (n=85) again proved to be a challenging question to survey, especially as many broadband plans are still bundled with telephony. Accordingly caution should be exercised when considering these results. When asked what monthly fee they were paying for broadband now, 77% of respondents said they were paying under $200 per month. The median price paid was $109. Unsurprisingly, SMEs and non-fibre users were the predominant type of businesses to answer this question. When compared with the 2010 survey results, it would appear businesses continue to be price sensitive. The similarity of the monthly UFB access fees to those for ADSL (copper) services was considered of greatest importance (74%) in encouraging UFB uptake by non-fibre respondents.

Other - The UFB benefits which were ranked second and third most important after access fees in encouraging uptake by non-fibre businesses were improved productivity (76%) and remote working (65%) respectively. All respondents considered cloud, remote working and voice-over-IP to be the three ICT services they would most consider investing in to leverage the benefits of UFB. These were similar to the responses given in 2010. The benefits respondents were least aware of in 2015 were reduced power costs and supply chain improvements.