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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.

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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

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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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