JUNE 12, 2008 -- Cable, satellite TV, and now even telephone companies have been heavily promoting a variety of new services, ranging from high-definition video to movies on demand. But communications industry leaders believe the best way to attract and keep customers is by providing the fastest Internet speeds, according to a new survey from Pike & Fischer's (search for Pike & Fischer) Broadband Advisory Services.
The Silver Spring, MD-based market research company conducted the survey over the spring and received more than 280 responses from executives, engineers, and consultants representing the cable, telephone, satellite TV, broadcast, and technology equipment industries. Academics and government regulators in the broadband space were also represented in the survey.
Survey participants were asked to rank several advanced communications services on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most attractive to customers. High-speed data speeds received more rankings of 5 than any other service. Nearly 40% of the respondents ranked data rates as a top draw. About one-fourth of participants ranked HDTV service as a 5. Digital phone service received the fewest top rankings; only 9.2% of participants ranked it at 5.
"This suggests to us that, while multichannel video providers may be spending a lot of their ad dollars promoting their high-def channels and their 'triple-play' bundles, they still rely on their broadband speeds to seal the deal with customers," reports Scott Sleek, director of Pike & Fischer's Broadband Advisory Services. "Every one wants to claim that they offer the fastest Internet access and believe that will be more important to customers than how many HD channels they offer."