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PRESS RELEASE

One in three people would rather lose a finger than their broadband connection

  • One in three say they would rather live without one of their fingers than without access to the internet
  • Further 25% of those surveyed couldn't choose between the two
  • BT Openreach CEO responds to this finding – says: broadband is now a "vital ... social lifeline" and without it "people feel socially isolated"

12 May 2015: One in three say they would rather lose a finger than go without a connection to the internet, according to a survey of 2,500 UK residents by broadband, TV and mobile comparison site Cable.co.uk.

When asked if they had to live their life without either one of their fingers or their internet connection which would they choose, one in three (29%) said they would rather lose a finger, while a further 25% claim they couldn't decide between the two.

Commenting on the result of this survey, BT Openreach CEO Joe Garner said:

"People see [the internet] as vital to their day-to-day lives. I used to run a bank and I used to think that it was pretty serious if people couldn’t access their bank account, but if people can’t access their Facebook account? Oh. My. God.

"Without the internet people feel socially isolated almost immediately. And that touches a very deep human need. We're a social species."

Broadband expert and Cable.co.uk editor-in-chief Dan Howdle added:

"Not too long ago, we satisfy our need to socialise in 'big bites' – gatherings, parties, nights out, long phone calls. But people engage in less of these ‘main meal’-style social experiences than they once did.

"Instead, we snack; Facebook, Twitter, even email to a certain extent, allow us to attend more frequently, and more lightly, to our social needs.

"Which is why the question of what we'd give up to keep our broadband, provides us a somewhat crazy answer. A finger? Surely not.

"What we’re doing there is substituting ‘broadband’ for ‘daily contact with friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances’ – and in that context, the thought living with nine fingers is, by comparison, rather trivial to some."

Results

If you had to live the rest of your life without one of the following, which would you choose?

Notes to editors

  • If using our research and/or commentary we would deeply appreciate a link either to this page or to https://www.cable.co.uk

-ends-

What is Cable.co.uk?

Cable.co.uk 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. Having spent 12 years at the coalface of consumer telecoms research, initiating and running projects both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now Director of Communications and in-house consumer telecoms expert for Cable.co.uk.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer who frequently appears on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers and their websites, Dan leads a team of journalists and communications folk who spend their days researching and reporting on problems faced by UK broadband, TV and mobile customers both on an individual and macro level.

Dan campaigns on many issues currently facing consumers of broadband, TV and mobile products in the UK. These include, but are not limited to: Rural broadband provision; mobile coverage; broadband, TV and mobile customer contract issues; broadband and mobile broadband speeds; switching and money-saving; infrastructural challenges; pricing, changes and structures; shifts in technology and the marketplace; telecoms regulation, policy and law; fines, adjudications and policy changes; mergers and closures of UK providers; annual financials and more.

Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality. He also administers and adjudicates the yearly Broadband Service Quality Awards and sits on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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