Frontier Economics was commissioned by TalkTalk to work in collaboration to understand the behavioural barriers to the take-up of FTTP gigabit capable broadband and suggest actions that could help unlock the gigabit dividend.
The UK government is targeting nationwide coverage of gigabit-capable broadband by 2030. This target is informed by the potentially transformative effects of high-speed broadband across society and the economy, and is supporting the necessary investment is among Ofcom’s strategic priorities.
Good progress is being made towards this target. BT, Virgin Media O2 and ‘AltNets’ (led by CityFibre) are turning multibillion pound investments into rapidly expanding gigabit networks. While, the Government’s £5 billion ‘Project Gigabit’ scheme will support rollout in the ‘final 20%’ of premises where rollout is not commercially viable. 70% of premises can now access gigabit-capable broadband.
However, realising the full benefits of FTTP is dependent on end users taking-up FTTP not just having it running past their premise. Consumers predominantly control the speed and extent of FTTP take-up. But, for consumers, the benefits of FTTP take-up are small for the time being, and prone to being underestimated. For society at large, Infrastructure Providers and ISPs the benefits of FTTP take-up are substantial. This means that there are benefits to those beyond the household decision makers meaning positive externalities exist. The presence of positive externalities is a textbook case for government intervention and co-ordinated action is needed to ensure the whole society benefits of FTTP are realised.
Figure 1: The uneven scales of benefits of FTTP
Frontier’s work has forecast that, under the status quo, one sixth to one third of households will be passed by a FTTP network in 2030 but will rely on a copper connection. Leaving a significant take-up gap.
The report also aims to understand the full set of barriers to FTTP migration for consumers including behavioural barriers. It outlines four behavioural traits that form barriers to FTTP migration and suggests industry and government action which could help close the take-up gap and overcome these behavioural barriers.
Figure 2: Behavioural barriers to FTTP take-up
The report can be accessed through TalkTalk’s press release here or by clicking below.
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