In light of the outbreak of COVID-19, demand has increased drastically for a fast and reliable broadband connection, as children are home from school and more people are forced to work remotely. It has been reported in the Telegraph that the UK’s ageing broadband infrastructure “won’t cope with millions working from home in coronavirus outbreak.” In fact, the demand for online streaming services after the outbreak of the virus has seen Netflix’s share price increase by over $16 (4.48 per cent) in under a month.
In light of this global challenge, coupled with changing demand and lifestyles, providers now have to support homeowners by providing a connection that will, at certain times in the day, be required to seamlessly stream multiple shows on multiple devices as well as hold conference calls and send emails at the same time. As the number of self-isolations as a result of coronavirus increase, so too does the dependence on broadband connectivity for work, education, gaming and television.
This International Women’s Day, Business Lead at Grain, Gergana Nash, gave her thoughts on the increase in household usage which is ultimately a response to changes in the way consumers are accessing television and how they are using their broadband for more, but also highlights the need for a fast, reliable service.
Since its inception, the internet has progressively changed the way in which consumers access television, resulting in online streaming services being established worldwide. Netflix, for example, was launched in 2012 in the UK and has since expanded exponentially to have a subscriber base of 11.8 million (correct in Q3 2019), significantly more than the number of consumers currently subscribed to Sky’s satellite television service.
This trend has been seen across the market, as the norms of television consumerism change in an ever-connected world. Indeed, Amazon Prime Video has also watched its consumer base increase rapidly to 6.4 million in Q3 of 2019, representing an average subscriber growth of a million users per year for the last five years. Couple this growth in online streaming subscribers with a rising number of viewers on YouTube, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and more, it becomes obvious that a new age of online, instant viewing has emerged.
Never before has there been a greater need by consumers to have a reliable, fast broadband connection, with sufficient bandwidth to download and upload at great speed. Grain’s full-fibre broadband network allows this, with connection speeds of up to 1 gigabit and an uncontended network, providing tomorrow’s demand today. Grain has established itself as the broadband provider of choice for Stewart Milne, Taylor Wimpey, This Land™, Birmingham City Council’s Perry Barr site and others.
Grain’s technical team reports that the vast majority of streaming traffic on the network is from Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, with each customer streaming an average of 3.8 hours of online television per day. This represents an opportunity for housebuilders and developers to future-proof their new homes, providing homeowners with a fast, reliable, full-fibre network.
The Grain network has also seen significant growth in household data usage in the past 12 months, with increased data use of 12 per cent per month, a figure that is rising year on year.
Grain is currently working with a host of developers to provide full-fibre, hyperfast broadband to rural and urban communities across the UK.