The Malta Independent 18 January 2019, Friday

60% of people who tested internet speed found it was slower than advertised - report

Tuesday, 24 April 2018, 11:24 Last update: about 10 months ago

The number of households using ultra-high internet speeds is in the increase, but many households do not actually test their internet download speed, according to the findings of a survey by the Malta Communications Authority.  Furthermore, one in six people who tested their internet speed found that it was slower than the speed advertised by their operator.

According to the survey results, a total of 94% of household respondents claim to have access to fixed broadband at their place of residence. This represents a 17 percentage point increase over the 2015 survey.


Just 6% of household respondents say that they do not have access to fixed broadband, as the service is unnecessary or ‘too complicated to use’. Moreover, the majority of respondents not having a fixed broadband connection stated that they would not be purchasing a connection over the next 6 month period.


Price is a key factor determining consumer choice

37% of respondents stated that price was their primary concern when purchasing a fixed broadband service followed by internet download speed at 32%.

22% of household respondents also say that the availability of fixed broadband in a bundle was important in their purchase choice


Knowledge of headline download speed remains low

Despite download speed ranking 2nd in priority as a factor influencing type of fixed broadband purchase, only 28% of respondents with a fixed broadband connection are aware of the headline download speed supported by their connection. A lack of awareness of headline download speeds has been observed consistently even in surveys carried out in 2013 and 2015. Nevertheless, the 2017 figure concerning headline download speed awareness represents an improvement, up from 19% in 2013.


More households with fast and ultra-fast download speeds

Fast download speeds correspond to fixed broadband connections supporting a download speed of between 30Mbps but less than 100Mbps whilst ultra-fast download speeds correspond to those connections supporting download speed of 100Mbps or more.

Compared to 2015, the 2017 survey findings show a big rise in the proportion of households owning fast and ultra-fast broadband connections. In the former case, a 23 percentage point increase has been registered, whilst in the latter case an 18 percentage point increase was recorded.

46% of household respondents were unable to identify their monthly expenditure on their fixed broadband service. The main reason for this lack of knowledge stems from the fact that generally respondents purchase their fixed broadband service in a bundle, which makes it difficult to identify the monthly financial outlay per service in a bundle.


Not many households test their actual download speeds

Household respondents were generally unaware that they could test their download speeds via online applications. Also, just 18% of respondents with a fixed broadband connection say they have actually carried out a test to determine whether they were actually getting the advertised download speed.

A further assessment of survey findings in this respect shows that almost 60% of those who actually carried out these tests found that their actual speed test was lower than the one advertised by their service provider.


A highly satisfied customer base

Overall, respondents said they are generally satisfied with the service being provided by their operator. 53% of respondents say they are satisfied with their fixed broadband service and an additional 28% say they are highly satisfied. Overall, this represents an improvement of 2 percentage points on the number of satisfied households when compared with 2015.

Just 3% of respondents in 2017 say they were dissatisfied with the service being offered. The remaining 16% of respondents were indifferent as to the quality of the service they were purchasing.

47% of respondents claim to have reported at least one fault with their fixed broadband connection in the span of 12 months, an increase of 12 percentage points when compared to the corresponding 2015 survey finding.

Nevertheless, 69% of respondents that encountered faults throughout this period feel that their reported fault was addressed in a satisfactory manner and were satisfied with how their service provider handled the matter.

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