Fiber Survey 2024

European Broadband Consumer Survey 2024: No need for more speed?

European broadband consumers are surprisingly undemanding: they are satisfied with their providers, tolerate comparatively unreliable home and mobile connections and favor stability to speed. Yet many are open to using mobile 4G/5G connections as a substitute to traditional landlines. These insights and many more are findings of the first edition of Deloitte's pan-European Broadband Consumer Survey, in which more than 13,000 respondents in seven core Western European markets gave feedback on their perception of and requirements for stationary and mobile broadband connections. The fiber survey shows: Despite the heterogeneous structures of the different broadband markets, the European consumer perspective is quite aligned.

In early 2024, the baseline supply of home broadband infrastructure varies greatly across European countries. For example, the share of home connections faster than 250 Mbps was 2.5 times higher in Spain than in Germany. But all countries have one thing in common: Nowhere in Europe is the reliability of home broadband truly outstanding or satisfying. Between 20 percent and a third of respondents, depending on the country, experience problems with their internet connection at least once a month. Compared to utility networks like gas, water, or electricity, issues with internet connections are much more frequent. Looking at individual countries, Germany is at the bottom of the reliability league, while the Netherlands is doing noticeably better.

Despite the shortcomings, the vast majority of European broadband consumers are surprisingly content with their home internet: Satisfaction is well above 75% in all countries. Deviations in consumer satisfaction are much smaller than the differences in average speed levels across the countries  surveyed. Furthermore, the technology used has a much smaller impact on the broadband user experience than might be expected: Fiber is ahead in most countries, but only by a narrow margin. As with home broadband, consumers appear to be highly satisfied with their mobile networks. In fact, satisfaction with mobile infrastructure is even higher.

Demand for stability over speed, rising interest in Fixed Wireless Access

But what really matters to European broadband consumers when it comes to their internet connection? Given the frequent reliability problems, it is not surprising that they favor stability over speed. Price is an equally important success factor. Customer service, on the other hand, comes last in the list of priorities. Despite these overarching trends, there are some country-specific differences: Germans tend to look for reliable connections even more than their European neighbors, while consumers from Belgium and the Netherlands are more price-sensitive.

Another observation can be derived from the results of the Broadband Consumer Survey 2024: Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is becoming a real alternative in Europe. More than three-quarters of respondents claim to have no mobile connectivity problems with their smartphones at home. Supported by this positive experience, almost half of all European broadband consumers can imagine having no wired connection. This openness is particularly high in Italy and Spain; however, awareness of fixed wireless access still varies considerably across Western European countries.

The study results indicate that the performance of fiber is not having a bigger impact on the user experience – at least not yet. In many cases, fiber networks are not able to demonstrate their superiority. One reason for this is that the most frequently used online applications do not yet require enormously high bit rates.

Dieter Trimmel, Partner Strategy & Transformation, Deloitte Germany

Primary areas of action for broadband providers

Overall, the Broadband Consumer Survey provides market participants with tangible conclusions and reveals four primary areas of action:

  1. Fix the basics: Ensuring stability for both fixed and mobile network infrastructures.
  2. Actively push in-home solutions, such as premium modems and range extenders.
  3. Don’t miss the FWA opportunity in your market: Customers are interested.
  4. Keep in mind that price continues to be a major factor.


Download the complete fiber survey "Broadband Consumer Survey 2024" here and find out more.