The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) published a white paper to help inform the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other policymakers about consumer preferences for accessing the Internet, as well as to provide helpful detail about the types of activities consumers pursue online.

The detailed information submitted with this white paper is the result of a comprehensive survey IIA commissioned in June of this year of some 10,000 U.S. consumers. The results of this survey show that consumer preferences have changed, and that consumers now see fixed and mobile broadband services as essentially the same. The results also show that consumers use mobile broadband services to perform bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming video and watching news and sports. Based on the details revealed through this extensive survey, the IIA calls upon the FCC to update and modernize its approach to reporting to Congress on the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability in the United States. Specifically, the IIA calls for the FCC to recognize that:

  • Consumer preferences have changed in the highly competitive market for broadband services, and that today’s consumers see mobile and fixed broadband services as “functional substitutes” for each other;
  • Consumers are now using mobile services and devices in bandwidth-intensive ways like streaming video and watching news/sports, and that these consumer activities show that today’s consumers view mobile and fixed broadband services as “functional substitutes” for each other;
  • Consumers are using mobile devices for important functions like doing homework and applying for jobs like never before;
  • These trends are common across different demographic groups of consumers – meaning rural and urban consumers, younger and older consumers, and consumers of different races share similar preferences and perform similar activities viewing fixed and mobile broadband as functional equivalents.

IIA believes that now is the right time for the FCC to update and modernize its approach to reporting to Congress on the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability. Because consumers perceive and use mobile and fixed broadband services in essentially the same way, the FCC should now consider mobile and fixed broadband services “functional substitutes” and report to Congress accordingly.

Download: “Evolving Preferences: Consumer Preferences Tilting Towards Mobile Broadband” IIA white paper pdf.

Download: “Consumer Preferences for Internet Access and Online Activities Market Research Report” Civic Science report pdf.

Listen to the “Are Consumer Preferences Tilting Towards Mobile Broadband?” teleconference to learn more.