ComReg has today published results from the latest market research survey, conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes, on the impact of Covid-19 on consumer use and perception of telecommunications in Ireland. The survey is the fifth in a series of surveys examining broadband and mobile phone use since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since the introduction of public health restrictions, consumers are continuing to rely on online services, as 81% believe their household usage of home broadband has increased since the start of the pandemic. With most interactions and activities taking place virtually, almost all respondents (96%) agree that any interruption in their home broadband service would be a problem. Younger households are more exposed to these concerns, with those aged 25-34 significantly more likely to report any interruption as a serious problem.
Reflective of this reliance, more than half of respondents reported an increase in usage of mobile phones (66%), laptop or desktop computers (59%), and connected TV or streaming services (61%). Conducting household and social activities online remains strong, with more online users reporting an increase in video calling friends and family (63%) and online shopping for non-essential items (51%) since the start of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Adequate home broadband services will continue to be crucial for those currently working from home, two-thirds of whom expect to be working from home daily for the next six months. Of those currently working from home, 85% claim their home broadband use has increased in order to work remotely. Reported usage of video conferencing software, virtual desktop and intranet services, and online collaboration platforms have all increased amongst those working from home, as well, since the start of the pandemic.
While many consumers in Ireland are satisfied with their current broadband and mobile services, the increased demand for connectivity due to Covid-19 continues to pose challenges. Survey results reveal an appetite for improved service quality, with approximately half of broadband users willing to spend more for better services since June 2020 and 14% of remote workers reporting their current broadband service is not adequate to carry out work-related activities from home.
Commissioner Robert Mourik said: “As we reflect on the last year, since the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions in Ireland, it is clear how vital electronic communications networks have become. We have all learned how to be together while apart, with interactions taking place virtually and much of the workforce moving to a remote working environment. The findings of our survey show households are continuing to rely more heavily on fixed, mobile, and wireless communications technologies – and these changes may be here for the long haul. Telecoms companies, together with ComReg, are continuing to ensure Ireland’s electronic communications networks are responsive and resilient to support these changing demands and to keep us all connected.”
- 81% of those surveyed believe their household usage of broadband has increased, with 77% of users agreeing their current service meets the needs of their households.
- 55% of respondents believe that an interruption in their home broadband service would be a serious problem during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- More than half of respondents reported an increase in usage of mobile phones (66%), laptop or desktop computers (59%), and connected TV or streaming services (61%) since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- More than 9 in 10 of those currently working from home expect to continue working remotely to some degree for the next six months.
- Home broadband is the main service (78%) used to carry out work-related activities at home, with 53% of remote workers using a mobile phone for traditional Voice/SMS and 44% using mobile phone data.
Find the full publication here: /publication/impact-of-covid-19-on-consumer-use-and-perception-of-telecommunications-services-survey-q1-2021