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The Staggering Things People Would Give Up Before They'd Give Up The Internet

  • More than a third (34%) said they would rather live without central heating than the Internet
  • 14% would prefer give up their mains water supply, while a staggering 34% said they'd be happy to chop off a finger
  • Almost one in five (19%) said they would go without baths, showers or washing of any kind for the rest of their lives so long as they could stay online

Monday, 8 May 2017: If you wonder how important the internet has become, wonder no longer. We asked 2,000 people which daily essentials and luxuries they would be prepared to sacrifice in order to stay online and the results are positively wacky.

The past: the birth of mobile internet

5G is purported to deliver data speeds that are literally thousands of times faster than 4G

Demographically, three-quarters (75%) of women would be prepared to go teetotal, whereas only 61% of men would be inclined to do same. However, men were slightly more willing than women to give up treat foods, with 66% of men and 64% of women saying they would forgo chocolates and other treats in order to retain an online presence.

18 to 24-year-olds were more prepared to cut out alcohol in order to stay online than those in their parents’ age group. 73% of would opt to stay sober, compared to 65% of 45 to 54-year-olds.

On average, respondents in the North East were most willing to make sacrifices in order keep the Internet (42% across all of the options given), closely followed by those in the North West (41%).

Londoners and those living in the North East were most likely to choose access to the worldwide web over the ability to venture beyond their own doorstep, with 31% of respondents in both locations preferring to stay at home, but online.

Commenting on the results, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Ofcom-accredited broadband advice site Cable.co.uk, says:

"Well, that's easy to say, isn't it? Clearly, some have not thought this properly through."

"For example, it's easier to say you'd be okay with one less finger than it is to offer your hand to a chap with a hacksaw. And it's easier to answer 'I'd rather never wash again' than it is to live day to day with a nickname like 'Stinky Samantha' or 'Throw-up John', or to be repeatedly ejected from public places.

"Nevertheless, what these results do show is that, for many, the internet is as essential as some of the most fundamental needs a human being has. Or at least, people think it is."

Notes to editors

In return for using our commentary on UK telecoms issues, we would deeply appreciate a link to https://www.cable.co.uk


What is Cable?

Cable is a broadband, TV and phone comparator, unique news source and consumer champion.

Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades, running research fieldwork both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now consumer telecoms analyst at Cable, as well as more formally operating in the role of its Director of Communications and Content.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer, Dan has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers. Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality, administered Cable’s Broadband Service Quality Awards and sat on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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