Ahead of his appearance at this year’s Content Delivery World (5th – 7th October, 2015, Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London), IP&TV News catches up with Janusz Jezowicz, CEO at Optimal Software.
IP&TV News: You are uniquely positioned to offer insight into the current state of internet speeds. What are the main trends you’re observing in the UK?
Janusz Jezowicz: We definitely see a trend of increasing internet speeds but also of customer expectations. It should be said that customers’ expectations and needs will have increased over the last 12 months and that this will impact on their perceptions of the quality of service. This will cause some customers to report that their service has got slower over the last 12 months when, in fact, it is their demand that has increased. This demand will continue to increase and this should not be used as an excuse for providing a quality of service that disappoints customers.
Users who come to our websites to test their internet speed are more likely to switch than regular users. In fact 20% of our users reported switching ISPs in the last 12 months. Interestingly, two thirds of those who switched were happier with the speed they were getting in comparison with the previous supplier.
What about the relationship between poor streaming and speed checking?
Interestingly, video viewing patterns do not impact customer happiness as much as we expected. One would think that a slow Internet would have a greater negative impact on frequent video viewers than those who only watch videos occasionally. However, this does not seem to be the case: users who do not watch videos at all complain about the slow internet just the same.
In our recent survey, we found out that 75% of users watch videos online regularly.
What insight and access can you offer for those looking to find out more about broadband speeds in their area?
Broadband Speed is now a critical factor when buying property. Here is what the Daily Telegraph said last year:
“Slow broadband speeds can wipe as much as 20 per cent off the value of properties and lack of superfast connectivity in an area can be a deal breaker in house sales.”
With broadband speed being such a critical element in property purchase it is important to know what speeds you can expect in your next property and how your own property compares.
There are a couple of resources that we recommend that will provide this comparison. First, is our own Broadband Speed In My area tool. Customers can easily zoom in/out of areas and see real average internet speeds down to street level. These are actual speeds recorded by users at these addresses rather than advertised or averaged speeds.
I would recommend checking the OFCOM Infrastructure report which provides more general information for larger areas and includes mobile phone service information.
What challenges do you think ISPs have with ever-increasing use of mobiles and tablets?
According to the latest Mary Meeker report US consumers now spend more time consuming media on their mobile devices than on laptops/desktops. I believe a similar trend is happening in the UK. Consumers for many years got used to connecting their mobiles to home Wi-Fi networks to save on costly mobile plan data usage and for increased speed. However, it’s not always the case that Wi-Fi gives those users good performance and they might be comparing their speed on their mobile with their fixed broadband. This produces a situation in which the user is not happy because of poor user experience; the mobile carrier is not happy because of higher bandwidth consumption and the broadband provider being blamed for poor performance. A recent survey by GWS (Global Wireless Solutions) has shown this problem exists in 16% of surveyed London homes.
What do you think are going to be the main conversation points at this year’s Content Delivery World?
Given the audience mix of ISPs and CDNs I believe the key topics will be: how to improve cooperation, quality of service and revenue. There are also some new interesting CDN models coming which will allow content providers to balance traffic better, this along with continued expansion of the CDN market will open up more opportunities.
Click here for booking and more info about Content Delivery World (5th – 7th October, 2015, Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London)