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Zbyněk Bolcek | April 22, 2021

The results of a survey on Internet use in households

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The demands of households on quality Internet connection continue to increase. One half of the people is willing to pay up to CZK 275 per month extra for higher speed. This also relates to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, because 77 % of the respondents now use connection for work from home and 56 % of the responding households use it for online learning. For nearly one third of the people, the quality of connection has worsened due to these higher demands on data transmission.

This is according to the regular survey, which monitors, how citizens of the Czech Republic use Internet at home and how satisfied they are with the connection of their household to the Internet. The survey has been performed by Grant Thornton consulting group in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

“Hardly anyone was able to imagine a year ago that the significance of Internet connection in our households would increase nearly overnight, when a considerable part of the office population would relocate to home office and at the same time life in schools would stop and instruction would move to the online regime. In these times, household connection to the Internet became a critical tool, which school instruction and work from home cannot do without. We are therefore seeing a significant shift on the market compared to last year, in the context of the pandemic,” says Zbyněk Bolcek, Grant Thornton Advisory partner.

“The information about how citizens are satisfied with the speed and price of connection to the Internet and what their idea about household connection to the Internet is for the future, is very important for us. These data enable us to further plan the development of Internet connection in the Czech Republic,” explains Marian Piecha, deputy minister of industry and trade.

Household demand for “superfast Internet” has been increasing continually, with 58 % of the respondents wanting it already. At the same time, the willingness to pay extra for these higher speeds is also increasing, 45 % of the people are willing to pay CZK 275 extra on average in addition to their current Internet expenses. The users’ demands on the quality of connection thus continue to increase, which is also reflected in the growing percentage of optical connections that enable providing data transmission at the speed of up to 1 Gb/s (21 % respondents) and gradual decrease of cable (29 % of respondents) and wireless Internet. Yet, wireless connection remains dominant among the respondents, 38 % of the households have it. Users now use connection at the speed of more than 100 Mb/s (28 % respondents) increasingly more.

One of the main reasons for the trend of growing speed of connection is the fact that nearly 77 % of the respondents now use household connection for working from home (a year ago it was 48 %) and 56 % for home school instruction, and more than one half of these users declared that this way of using household connection has increased fundamentally over the last year. Users confirm that there has been a significant increase in consumption of practically all services, for which they use their connection – in addition to work and school, from sending emails to news reports or television, to online games and other services. An interesting thing is that while most respondent use household connection for work, only 3.6 % of them receive a contribution from their employer for their home connection to the Internet.

In the context of the pandemic, nearly one third of all people (29.4 %) registered a worsening of the quality of their Internet connection at home. In this context, more than 25 % of dissatisfied users tried to change their provider, but only 7.3 % of them managed to realise this change. In total, however, there has been an increase of the respondents’ satisfaction compared to the previous year, by 4 % to the total of 60 %. The satisfaction is the lowest in the Karlovy Vary region, the Central Bohemian and the Pardubice region (approximately 52 % dissatisfied), while satisfaction is the highest in the Plzeň region (only 32 % dissatisfied).

The usual monthly payment for connection regardless of speed reaches between CZK 350 and CZK 500 (43 % of respondents), but there are significant regional differences, with Prague and Karlovy Vary being among the most expensive regions (36 % of respondents pay more than CZK 500), while South Bohemia and the Plzeň region are among the cheapest (77 %, or 55 % of respondents pay less than CZK 350).

The second annual survey took place at the turn of November and December 2020. Nearly 6,000 households attended the survey. The Ministry of Industry and Trade in cooperation with the individual regions participated significantly on the dissemination and promotion of the survey.