Black Friday and Cyber Week sales highlight the need for faster broadband speeds

Shoppers showed a need for broadband speed during their Black Friday and Cyber Week shopping, according to IMA Research.

Driven in part by streaming services such as Disney +, Black Friday and Cyber Week broadband shoppers showed a marked preference for faster broadband speeds.

Along with the supposed screaming deals offered by retailers, both online and at brick and mortar locations, some internet service providers were also serving up discounts after Thanksgiving.

IMA Research looked at more than 10,000 orders that were fulfilled by ISPs during that time frame and found that 35% of the consumers picked speeds of 100 Mbps or higher, indicating the need for speed for ultra-high definition TV and gaming. On the other end, fewer than 10% opted for tiers with speeds slower than 10 Mbps. (A speed of 10 Mbps is painfully slow. Maybe those users only need broadband for email instead of for gaming and ultra-HD?)

The most popular broadband speed tier was 25 Mbps at 22% followed in order by 100 Mbps (15%) and 50 Mbps (12%.) All told, those three speeds accounted for half of the orders that IMA Research analyzed. The three next most-popular speeds made up nearly a quarter of the orders: 300 Mbps (12 %), 1,000 Mbps (6%) and 18 Mbps (6%).

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IMA Research looked at broadband speeds from cable, DSL, fiber and satellite internet providers for its study. Overall, it looked at more than 300 broadband plans, some of which were discounted, over the course of seven days.

IMA Research also looked at bundled service plans and noted that consumers can sometimes get better TV deals if they order telephone and security services with their internet access. While sales of bundled services were higher than a comparable week earlier in November, sales of internet-only services grew at a higher rate.

Both the high sales of high-speed internet and internet-only services could be explained by the "Disney+ Effect," as consumers need faster connections to stream new 4K content such as "The Mandalorian," according to IMA Research.

With consumers and cord cutters spending more entertainment hours on new streaming services such as Disney+ and Apple TV+, ISPs are having a harder time selling their bundles. Instead of the traditional triple play bundles of voice, video and internet, service providers, including Comcast and Verizon, have come up with bundles that include new streaming services paired with internet or 5G offerings as a means to sign up new subscribers.