back to article Brits think broadband more important than mobes, cars or savings

Broadband is more essential than owning a mobile phone, running a car or having savings, according to a survey by consumer watchdog organisation Which? Of 2,000 folk, 90 per cent said broadband was essential, while 74 per cent named mobile phones as a necessity, and 68 per cent said running a car was a key requirement. More …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "More also considered broadband an essential than they did savings (70 per cent) and pension contributions (53 per cent)."

    I suspect this tells us that a large proportion of the survey are already retired and living off their savings and pensions rather than contributing to them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Great Weasel Answer. Top marks for ingenuity.

      I think we all know what we're up against when complaining regarding BT's Obfuscated, Bamboozled, 'upto' Copper Carcass Broadband, when you get Weasel replies like that.

      Give yourself a pat on the back for retort ingenuity. Thanks for upholding BT's representation as the 'drunk blocking the doorway', for any progress towards real FTTP rollout.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Great Weasel Answer. Top marks for ingenuity.

        Think what Which's readership is like. I'd expect them to be more likely than average to be the sort of people who have taken saving and investment seriously. In that context don't you think the rating for pension contributions is surprisingly low?

        The explanation which occurs pretty automatically to me is that these are replies from people in the same situation as myself:

        I'm retired. I no longer have to pay pension contributions so I'd rate that zero. In fact, I'd make pretty similar responses, including rating broadband highly. The main difference is that given the craptitude of public transport round here I'd rate running a car somewhat higher than in the article.

        Of course I don't have any interest in the game of FTTP promotion.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Great Weasel Answer. Top marks for ingenuity.

          "I suspect this tells us that a large proportion of the survey are already retired and living off their savings and pensions rather than contributing to them"

          In a strange way, that sort of describes BT's own position (in a metaphorical sense).

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Lee D

      I suspect it has more to do with them not being ABLE to manage their savings or pensions, or see how much extra they can afford to put into them, without Internet access.

      People see "Internet" and think "YouTube".

      I see all the bills, services, and offers that I've never received through my door but only found out / pay / organise via the Internet.

      It's like saying "postal service" in my opinion. Sure, we can live without the postal service, and nobody wants spam and nobody is going to die because they lost a Christmas card. But for hundreds of years it fulfilled an essential role in communication.

      Without decent Internet, you can't find the best offers, manage them effectively (i.e. have to wait for your statement to come through before you spot that transaction that shouldn't be there, etc.), or organise the best rates and complex financials.

      It doesn't mean we should give every person on benefits a free Wifi with unlimited Internet, but an Internet connection of some kind is very useful for many things beyond filling your time in the evening.

      1. d3vy

        @Lee D

        "Without decent Internet, you can't find the best offers, manage them effectively (i.e. have to wait for your statement to come through before you spot that transaction that shouldn't be there, etc.), or organise the best rates and complex financials."

        Very true, however as you pointed out (more or less) later in your post, you can do that with a sub 10mb/s connection.

        Ive got friends who don't work in IT.. Pay £100+ per month for virgin media and boast that their broadband is waaaaay faster than mine and tell me I should upgrade (I get 75MB/s on BT Infinity). When I ask what they use it for "Facebook and youtube"

    3. d3vy

      Personally I regard broadband more important (I'm in my 30's) than savings and pension in that without broadband I cant work so wont have anything to save/put in my pension.

      That doesn't mean that I would want to do without any of them, just that right now the priority would be broadband, savings, Pension in that order as that is the order that they will affect me in.

      I do wonder how many of the people surveyed actually use the broadband for anything useful?

  2. jason 7

    Those in large contry houses...

    ...are now the new disadvantaged. I live in Norwich and have access up to 70Mbps. I often have to go visit customers that live in the wilds and own massive country houses, barn conversions or farm houses. Super homes that could cost seven figures perhaps.

    I sit down to work and find that the 80MB driver update is going to take 45 minutes+ to download and suddenly I'm saying to them "how do you live like this?".

    You then find the ADSL is 0.6Mbps. Great for 2001 when video was QVGA but useless now. A lot of these mega homes will crash in value if the situation doesn't change. Not that I don't find it a little amusing...

    The number of bell wires I've pulled to get another 0.25-0.50 Mbps is crazy.

    I would never live in a rural area. I can just manage to visit my parents and their rustic 6.5Mbps connection.

    1. magickmark
      Windows

      Re: Those in large contry houses...

      I live in a small market town just outside of Norwich (10 minutes walk and I'm in the country side) and I nominally have a 50 Mbs connection though I find I normally run at about 52-54. Admittedly I don't live in an isolated "large country house".

      I know the more isolated rural areas can be horrible for broadband. But I think people who choose to live there as a lifestyle choice should see this as way to drop out of the (digital) rat race,

      One thing I find amusing is people who chose to move to rural locations and then complain about things like the noise from animals and church bells and complain about the 'agricultural' smell we get at certain times of year, I think slow broadband in rural areas is on par with that But I know and accept that people who run rural businesses find the situation very frustrating.

      For me broadband is on par with utilities like electric/gas/water etc. Essential, but not the same as having savings, car, mobile etc.

      1. jason 7

        Re: Those in large contry houses...

        " But I think people who choose to live there as a lifestyle choice see this as way to drop out of the (digital) rat race, though I know people who run rural businesses fine the situation very frustrating."

        I think in most cases it's more the future has passed them by for the over 65's Country House owner and bad planning on the part of the rural business. Its what I see out there.

        Not many are trying to avoid the digital life. If you want to do that, buy a caravan.

        People are just too clueless to ask " So can I test your broadband speed?" when they go looking for houses.

        1. magickmark
          Pint

          Re: Those in large contry houses...

          Hi Jason

          First have a pint :)

          That's a possibility. My Dad is in his 70's and lives in Norwich city center and absolutely hates anything to do with computers/internet and refuses to use anything but a simple flip phone so I think for some of the older generation its a bit of a blind spot.

          I think the point I was trying to make is that if you make a lifestyle choice to live in the country you have to accept what that actually means.

          If you choose to run a business from a rural location where it is not necessary to be located there then you need look at these issues before you settle on a particular location. If however you are in the situation your business requires you to be a specific location (farmer, boat builder on the Broads) then it very much sucks but unfortunately for now you kind of have to factor that in to your current business plan as a threat and then figure out how you are going to address that threat.

          I myself used to be a freelance IT consultant working around Norfolk and Norwich so know the challenges to small rural businesses.

          1. jason 7

            Re: Those in large contry houses...

            Cheers! You too, have a packet of scratchings as well!

            It's a tough one certainly. I always say I live in the city centre because I'm never more than 60 seconds away from a pint of fresh milk at 10am on a Sunday morning. It means I have to put up with the Prince of Wales road at the weekend but after 20 years I'm used to it and accept it.

            I think more rural communities need to realise they can call BT's bluff and investigate another supplier providing the required upgrades. I'm slightly surprised it's not publicised more due to it being such a hot issue.

            Hohum.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Those in large contry houses...

      suddenly I'm saying to them "how do you live like this?".

      It's easy. You just need to have a real life, and not give a damn about farcebook and twatter.

      I live in a rural area, albeit in an ordinary 3-bed house. I get 2-3Mbits/s DSL. It's fine for everything I need, even for work at home (as an IT architect). Sure, if I need a new Linux distro I may need to leave it downloading overnight, but so what? I'll be asleep, I don't care how long it takes.

      On the other hand I have no neighbours close enough to make finding a free wifi channel a problem, fresh air without any oif the yellow smog that hangs around my office near the city, fantastic walking from my doorstep.

      OK, if I could get 10Mbit/s I'd probably upgrade for the slight extra convenience, but I certainly don't need it, and there's no way in hell that I'd move to the living hell of a city or suburb just to get it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Those in large contry houses...

        OK, if I could get 10Mbit/s I'd probably upgrade for the slight extra convenience,

        As a pissed off Virginmedia customer, I'd happily downgrade from my 150 Mb/s cable connection to 10 Mb/s if it would stop the thieving bastards ripping me off. Sadly the pricing structure and discounts are intentionally set to make that a Pyrrhic victory.

        The sooner Openreach are forced into a separate holding company (and Oi! Ofcom! Don't forget the razor wire ringfence!) the better.

        1. Graham 25

          Re: Those in large contry houses...

          "The sooner Openreach are forced into a separate holding company (and Oi! Ofcom! Don't forget the razor wire ringfence!) the better."

          So you're one of those people who think that Openreach being a separate company will mean the laws of economics will no longer apply and will be able to borrow money as cheaply as BT ? If its uneconomical to provide a service to which you clearly feel entitled now, what makes you think a new supplier with less money will be able to make 1+1=3 ?

          Let me know when the sound of reality crashing down on you becomes too much to bear.

    3. itzman
      Thumb Down

      Re: Those in large contry houses...

      If you REALLY want better than ADSL wire speeds, houses can of course get fibre installed and buy themselves ten grand a year's worth of 10Mb/s totally private internet..

      And stick up an aerial and share it with their neighbours.

      Its the poor sods in the cottages that cant even GET ADSL OR 3G/4G.....

  3. Blergh

    Broadband or Foot?

    I was asked last night by my 7 year old if I'd rather lose broadband or my foot. After only a little bit of discussion we both agreed that we'd lose the foot!

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Broadband or Foot?

      If you work in IT, it's a no-brainer. Broadband or hand? That's another question entirely.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Broadband or Foot?

        Broadband or hand? That's another question entirely.

        Finding yourself in position where you have a broadband connection and one hand to work with - I think a lot of people have managed to build a lifestyle around that

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      am I incorrect in that assumption ?

      Yes.

    2. Vinyl-Junkie
      Headmaster

      I'm wondering...

      ...if the above post has set some sort of EL Reg record for abuse of the English language?

      [Edit] Damn! Should have copied and pasted; the original post has been withdrawn (to undergo a much needed rewrite?).

  5. wolfetone Silver badge

    If it's so important then where were they when our MP's passed through the IPA? Wankers.

    1. Lee D

      No, you all have to use it, because it's the only thing we can legally snoop on willy-nilly without proper oversight.

      Thus they encourage use as much and as fast as possible. How else are they going to persuade you to upload everything you possibly can about yourself?

    2. itzman
      Coat

      our MP's passed through the IPA?

      Shurely the IPA passes through the members?

      I'll get my coat...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Loaded survey?

    Is the car important?

    City people. No

    Town people: Sort of.

    Country People: Yes.

    See, easy to fiddle figures.

  7. M7S

    Not necessarily a choice

    Whilst people may choose freely to move to the countryside to live, many will live there for reasons beyond their effective control:

    - People may have inherited the family home. The costs of "upgrading" by moving to a town/city could well be beyond them.

    - Their jobs may well be rural, or agricultural, in which case they need to live in the countryside or commute, presumably from the aforementioned towns/cities. In some cases the accommodation is "tied" and in effect part of the pay as rural wages are not usually that high.

    - I've not yet seen on this topic the usual comments "they should sell and move" but leaving aside the astronomical costs (for many) of doing so, it is never made clear who would in such cases buy all these houses/villages, unless the owners are just expected to abandon them along with any value they might have, bearing in mind that many will also be indebted to various banks and the like.

  8. AndrueC Silver badge
    WTF?

    Broadband is more essential than owning a mobile phone, running a car or having savings, according to a survey by consumer watchdog organisation Which?

    Sounds like an odd target demographic. I would agree on it being more important than a mobile phone but it's not even in the same category as the other two. A car is essential if you live outside of a large town and savings are essential (often in order to fix the car).

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Sounds like an odd target demographic."

      Certainly atypical in terms of the country as a whole. I'm pretty sure it's skewed towards the top end of the age range but not particularly rural.

  9. spiny norman

    I long ago stopped seeing Which? as either a consumer watchdog or a purveyor of any kind of useful information. You've only got to watch one of their "Free guide to using your PC/Laptop/Tablet" adverts to see their target demographic is people who think they don't get enough spam from Saga.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saddos

    Anyone who thinks broadband access is that important ... get a life.

    1. ArrZarr

      Re: Saddos

      Why would I want a life when I have broadband?

      1. Graham Lockley

        Re: Saddos

        You could always get yourself a Second Life (is it still going ?)

  11. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    If this is true (which I doubt)...

    It's a shame that Which didn't further the survey result by asking the respondents that if they felt that strongly about access to the internet, why then didn't they take more of an interest in throwing out the snoopers charter.

    I guess they only survey though those certain types that they know will give them the answers in support of the headlines they want to print.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: If this is true (which I doubt)...

      if they felt that strongly about access to the internet, why then didn't they take more of an interest in throwing out the snoopers charter

      Because if you're in the Which? reading demographic you know perfectly well our nice government will only use the powers to spy on those nasty terrorists and paedophiles, not good law abiding citizens like you.

      We need a "wish I could use a joke alert icon" icon.

  12. MJI Silver badge

    Fewer young people learning to drive

    But use their internet all the time.

    This will skew the figures over time as well.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Great" Britain and the USA have so much in common

    We too have hoards of ignorant assholes over here that consider being connected to the Internet as some sort of right. Guess what. It's not, and never should be. There is no reason why you need the Internet in the modern world. Everything can be done outside of it still. We still have postal service, and normal phones. I can't think of one single thing that requires me being on the Internet. And I've been in IT for almost 30 years now. I can't wait to get home and NOT be connected to anything. It's a scam. Anyone can function without it, but few are smart enough to do it before they cry for their convenience of connectivity. There is NOTHING on the Internet that is required. Period.

    But don't tell your ignorant Brexiters or our own Red State Racists, because in the post-truth world nothing is something, and things of import are somehow bad for "us." Fucking white pussies with guns afraid of their own shadow, because it's dark. Isn't it? Yeah, it is. The so-called "Great" Britain, for so many centuries they could not WAIT to come "visit" a new country and impose their bullshit on it. Ask India or Hong Kong how fucking "Great" they are. Oh wait. NOW you want to close the borders on your little island paradise? Wow, fucking retards in all but the London area. Please let your pound die and keep to yourselves. The world doesn't need whatever it is you're supposed to make there. If I want a Jag, I'll talk to the Indians who make them. I can't think of anything other than Jammie Dodgers that comes from there that I want. You don't make anything anymore. Not anything of quality. When was the last time you heard anyone say; "wow this UK car I got is of such high quality and the wiring doesn't suck." Never. Oh wait, I do like the RPi, but those are manufactured by Sony. I don't think Sony is of UK origin, but don't let that stop you from claiming they are. :)

    And don't forget the USA with the fucking World Police biz and taking a cue from Blighty; let's fuck over the native peoples because we can. And it's for profit, not to really make a difference or do anything to help the so-called victims. Ask the poor people of Syria, oh yeah, you can't. Their either dead or subdued. And for the USA? Oh, what a bunch of asshole we have over here. Whites from immigrant families that somehow need a wall to protect them from anyone they can shift blame for their own shit ideas and failed lives on. Guess what? In four years time they will still be ignorant, poor and unable to figure out how to make it in the modern world. No wonder they want to all go back to the 1950s, AND take their Internet and every other modern item, while leaving behind those inconveniences like; women's rights, or the equalities that were won in the 1960s for the blacks. That is the rub; they can't handle a black man as president, and the cries of "where is his birth certificate" are all ideas from broken minds. Where were these idiots when he was a Senator for so many years? No problem then, huh? Fucking morons. What will they say when my ilk starts calling for The First Green Card Whore's birth certificate? Get the picture? So, now instead of helping people, I'm going to hack people. Many many people. And for fun and sport. Not to steal, not yet anyway.

    Live by your bullshit? Get ready to enjoy a juicy e-retort. The open season starts 1/20/17. Don't be late.

    Hypocrisy, it's what they're good at.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Everything can be done outside of it still.

      > being connected to the Internet as some sort of right. Guess what. It's not

      > and never should be. There is no reason why you need the Internet in the

      > modern world. Everything can be done outside of it still.

      That's becoming more and more difficult in Britain. All sorts of services even/especially Government services are becoming increasingly difficult to use without on line access. As an example, at the busiest toll bridge in the country you can no longer pay the charge at the bridge. Instead you must pay on line or by phone find a shop where they will accept a pre payment (yes, pedants, slightly simplified, OK, but broadly true).

    2. d3vy

      Re: "Great" Britain and the USA have so much in common

      "There is NOTHING on the Internet that is required"

      Where do you get your porn?

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: "Great" Britain and the USA have so much in common

        >> Where do you get your porn?

        The hedge?

  14. Swiss Anton

    Flaming good

    Mobile - likely to burst into flames.

    Car - might burst into flames (especially if its in an American TV show).

    Savings - might as well have burst into flames given the fall in the pound since Brexit.

    Broadband - so fast it spontaneously bursts into flames - apparently. I wouldn't know about that given the laughable "speed" of my broadband.

  15. HWTurk

    BT/Openreach are you listening?

    I can fully vouch for the results of this survey.

    Everything I watch is off the internet (iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon Video etc.), all the services I access are through the internet, and I live in an multi-person apartment with different people wanting different things off the internet at the same time. I'm not even a millennial, I'm a normal 40 something with normal modern day internet habits.

    However I live out in the sticks in London zone 6 and my average download speed is 4mbps, and my average upload speed is 700kbps. My broadband connection is not fit for purpose and annoys the hell out of me at least once every day.

    The fact that my broadband provider is doing nothing about this also annoys the hell out of me. ...and the fact that I'm paying the same amount that the folks in the next street pay for 'super-fast' broadband annoys me even more.

    So it is no surprise that those who have good broadband use it frequently, and those that don't are annoyed by it frequently.

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