Ten Key Findings From Whirlpool’s Annual Broadband Survey

Each year, we eagerly await the results of Whirlpool’s annual survey for an insight into what tech-savvy people in Australia think about broadband issues. The big topics this year? Downloading media (though not necessarily paying for it), monthly limits and — of course — the NBN.

A total of 23,513 people filled out the survey this year, which is actually slightly down on last year but still a very impressive result.

As Whirlpool’s organisers point out, because its readers tend to be relatively advanced in their use of technology, they don’t necessarily represent the opinions of the population overall. That said, I suspect the profile matches up with Lifehacker readers pretty well. Here, in no particular order, are ten of the more notable findings.

  1. Broadband continues to improve. 61.7% of respondents said that broadband was better value than a year ago.
  2. We’re very keen on downloading media. 55.5% of respondents said they used their connection for TV, music and movies, while 45.4% said BitTorrent was a key application.
  3. We’re not so keen on paying for it. However, just 19.7% said they used their connection to purchase or rent media. Oh dear.
  4. We sometimes sail close to the wind on download limits. Just over a third of respondents use less than half of their monthly data allocation — which means that two-thirds of us are sometimes getting pretty near. That said, only 7.9% said they frequently exceeded their limit.
  5. We like the NBN, but think it could have been handled better. While 58.7% of respondents were either positive or very positive about the National Broadband Network, almost a third (31.2%) think the government’s handling of the project was poor.
  6. It’s all about speed, baby. Just over half the respondents (56.9%) plan to switch to an NBN-based service as soon as one becomes available in their area. Of those, 22.8% want a 250Mbit down/100Mbit up connection, 20.5% want 100/40, 19.2% want 50/20, and 13.7% want 25/5. Just 8.6% would opt for the minimum 12/1 combination.
  7. We don’t want to pay more for speed though. More than a third (35.5%) said they would not pay any more for extra speed, while a similar percentage said they would pay between $10 and $30 more a month for higher connection speeds.
  8. Notebooks are popular, but not dominant. 26.6% of respondents used a notebook as a primary computer, while 50.2% used one as a secondary computer. (Only 13.4% of respondents said they had just one PC.)
  9. Internode remains the highest-rated ISP. Internode tops the rankings for reliability and willingness to recommend your ISP to others, which matches up with our own Best of 2010 awards.
  10. 1.5% of people pay their broadband bills at Australia Post. No, that doesn’t make sense to me either.

The consistent theme here? We like new and better options, but we’re not so keen on paying for them — which is human nature, I guess. Hit the link below for the full results.

Australian Broadband Survey 2011

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