Almost half of Europeans would switch ISPs for faster speeds, says EU

Summary:According to the European Commission, about 45 percent don't believe they are getting the Internet speeds they should be getting. More than half are concerned about call costs in the region.

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Just under half of Europeans would upgrade or switch their Internet service provider if they could be guaranteed faster browsing speeds.

According to the European Commission in a statement on Monday, 45 percent of European residents consider the cost versus speed ratio of their home broadband. Meanwhile, just over half — 54 percent — are more concerned about national and international mobile phone calls because of the costs involved.

The Commission has in recent years made efforts to lower the costs of roaming between the 28 member states, and has already ensured two significant price drops in roaming calling, text message and data costs when travelling from one European country to the other.

But it's still not quite enough, the Commission said, because its citizens still aren't getting the speeds that they expect at the time of subscribing to their service. 

The research showed that partly as a result of the increase in costs, 34 percent now use a VoIP Internet calling service, such as Skype, up from 27 percent in 2012, to communicate with others without incurring vast international costs.

"Consumers increasingly care about their internet being fast enough to watch videos, for example. And for those who run businesses from their home, speed is also a competitiveness issue," said EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes in prepared remarks. "Consumers now focus on both speed and price when making their choices."

The key takeaways note that speed matters, now above all other times, along with the overall quality of service. 40 percent have found it difficult to access online content or applications because their speeds were too slow or they hit traffic barriers.

The findings come not long after the Commission found that the average download speed available to Europeans is just 19 Mbps . While not bad for most home broadband users, it nonetheless falls short of the Commission's 30 Mbps for all Europeans by 2013 pledge.

Topics: Networking, EU

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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