Broadband labelling could help 1.6 million additional homes switch to Full Fibre by 2025


Broadband labelling could help 1.6 million additional homes switch to Full Fibre by 2025

31 March 2021

Greg Mesch 2020
  • Report by WIK-Consult demonstrates huge potential for broadband labelling to drive consumer take-up of full fibre services
  • A label alongside clear information would enable consumers to better identify the broadband products that deliver the speed and reliability they need
  • Report submitted to GigaTAG, Government’s taskforce on take-up of Gigabit broadband, which will publish recommendations later this spring

Providing clear labelling and information on broadband services could increase consumer take-up of Full Fibre products by 40% according to a new report by WIK-Consult. The uplift could bring more than 1.6 million additional homes onto a new generation of faster and more reliable digital infrastructure by 2025, rapidly increasing the speed at which Britain will benefit from the economic and social impact of billions of pounds of Full Fibre infrastructure investment.

The huge potential impact of broadband labelling is recognised in a new report by WIK-Consult, “Impact of labelling on Full Fibre adoption”. It was commissioned by CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent Full Fibre platform, to feed into a review currently underway by GigaTAG, the Government’s taskforce for driving adoption of Full Fibre and other gigabit-capable products. A labelling system is one approach being considered by GigaTAG.

Labelling systems have been widely deployed in other industries to help consumers make informed decisions. Examples include labels to help identify foods high in fat, sugar and salt, CO2 emissions from cars, and energy efficiency labels used on consumer electronics like fridges and freezers.

The report also confirms the extent to which consumers are confused by current broadband marketing terminology. More than half of respondents in the survey (52%) believed that they already had a Full Fibre service, despite 8 out of 10 of them living in areas where Full Fibre is not yet available.

The report tested the impact of labelling alongside a description of available broadband technologies and found that it increased consumers’ take up of Full-Fibre by 40%. CityFibre estimates that if the uplift were applied to an illustrative take-up projection of 10% per year over eight years, 1.6 million additional homes would benefit from Full Fibre by 2025.

The rollout of Full Fibre infrastructure is championed internationally due to the transformational impact the technology is set to have on both the economy and society. But while the UK’s nationwide rollout is now well underway, supported by £5bn public subsidy and an estimated £20bn of private investment, GigaTAG has indicated that clearer information on broadband products will be needed to enable consumers and businesses to adopt these new networks at scale.

Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre said: “The huge potential for broadband labelling to improve awareness, trust and take-up of Full Fibre is great news for consumers and for the country. With nationwide rollout ramping up fast, Full Fibre will soon be within easy reach of most homes and businesses. Now is the time to focus on helping them to switch, so we can unleash the economic benefits of Full Fibre as quickly as possible and bolster the investor confidence needed to complete the nationwide rollout.”

View the WIK-Consult’s report here.