Perhaps Half of High-Speed Access Consumers Would Pay for "Assured" Speed

Poll results from over 1,400 people when asked if they would pay a small premium for a broadband speed guaranteepoll of U.K. high speed access consumers contains what is probably good news and bad news for Internet service providers who believe quality-assured speeds would be attractive for their consumers, compared to today's more uncertain offers, where, for a variety of reasons, all an ISP can say is that speeds "up to X" are possible.

It all depends on how many other users are on the network at once, and what they are doing. 

The new poll by Think Broadband suggests that perhaps half of consumers might be interested in a speed guarantee, and would pay something extra for such guarantees.

The perhaps not so good news is that those who said they would be willing to pay also indicated they would spend about $5 to $8 a month for the feature. To be sure, a price premium of that sort would be helpful for ISPs, even if it were to be a feature purchased only by 20 percent of consumers. 

The other problem, of course, is that even when an ISP can control contention on its own access links, it cannot do so for the rest of the ecosystem. That means such an offer would have some caveats and limitations that might make the offer less appealing. 

The other issue is whether an ISP can even explain, to most consumers, why an offer is conditional, and what the speed guarantee actually provides. 

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