Report: Over 12M U.S. homes eliminated their fixed broadband

The reason 12 million home broadband customers cut the cord is due to the high cost of a subscription. (Image by suju from Pixabay)

Fixed broadband service providers may want to reconsider their price plans and improve their customer service if they want to keep their customers from cutting the cord.

According to a new report from Parks Associates, more than 12 million U.S. households have cancelled their home broadband service and now only use mobile broadband for their Internet. And another 3 million U.S. households have never had a home Internet subscription. Parks Associates' data comes from a survey conducted in September 2020. The 12 million households are those that at one point in time had fixed broadband, but cut the cord.

Parks Associates found that the reason 12 million home broadband customers cut the cord is due to the high cost of a subscription. Other factors included slow speeds and poor customer service.

Kristen Hanich, senior analyst with Parks Associates recommended some strategies that broadband providers can use to stop the bleeding. “Service providers can deploy a number of strategies, including increasing speed and delivering a device that improves Wi-Fi coverage, in order to protect their customer base,” she said.

Because 94% of U.S. homes with fixed broadband use Wi-Fi in their homes, Parks said that broadband providers should offer products such as smart Wi-Fi and mesh networking to improve Wi-Fi coverage. Those products would act as incentives to stop customers from churning. The report found that 75% of customers that were thinking of leaving said they would stay if their current provider offered these solutions.

Because so many members of households are engaged in remote work and remote school due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Parks said that it is particularly critical to improve the customer experience right now as so many customers are focused on their broadband speeds.

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Parks found that in September 2020 9% of U.S. broadband households upgraded their home broadband service and 80% of those said that the Covid-19 crisis was the reason for the upgrade. “Good performance during the Covid-19 crisis has improved customers’ opinion of their service providers, but there were dips throughout the year, indicating that providers need to continue to deliver on customer service and innovate in value-added offerings in order to grow and maintain their subscriber base,” Hanich added.