Survey: Consumers aren’t interested in cutting back on internet or mobile plans to save money

Robin Layton

May 11, 2023 — 3 min read

Our internet and cellphone plans are as important to us as health insurance and our home.

Adult looking over paperwork at laptop

At a glance

  • Only 8% of responding consumers are willing to cut internet or mobile services to save money
  • Spending less on streaming services is the 4th option for consumers

A quick trip to the supermarket can tell us that things we want to buy cost more now. As our collective belts tighten, what goods and services are we willing to cut back on … or not?

A new survey from Recon Analytics shows that during times of inflation and recession, we’d rather spend less on electric and heating bills before giving up or even cutting down our mobile phone and internet service plans. It seems our broadband and mobile choices are nearly recession-proof.

Not a real surprise since the average household consumes 586.7 GB of broadband data per month, according to a 2023 report. That’s up 10% from the previous year – and just over half a terabyte, which is enough for you to stream 250 hours of movies … in one month!

Not only are we eating up data at record-breaking levels, but we are also demanding more speed for our internet connections, too.

In fact, 26% of broadband users subscribed to speeds above 1,000 Mbps, which can power a large smart home with 5-6 heavy internet users.

On average, we like to have about 300-400 Mbps in download speeds, which costs about $84/mo.

Entertainment takes a hit

Even though we aren’t interested in cutting back on our internet service to save money, we have been looking at our streaming budget. The Recon report says that consumers put video services as the fourth service they want to cut back on.

TiVo reports that while the number of video services consumers use is growing, entertainment buffs are taking advantage of less-pricey options of the ad-supported streaming services and those that are free with ads to save money.

The TiVo analysis states, “While the recent pattern of economic inflation has caused 30.0% of respondents to reduce their overall entertainment spending, almost three-quarters of respondents (74.0%) say they’re slightly or much more likely to look for entertainment at home than going out.”

By the numbers

Recon reports that just 8% of the survey responders plan to reduce spending on home internet and cell service costs. That’s just a bit more than those of us willing to cut health insurance and housing – two of our most important expenditures.

That 8% are willing to find a new provider offering a similar plan for less cost or pick a lesser one with their current provider.

“The difference between subscribers at wireless carriers is nominal with only 7% of AT&T customers at the low end and 9% of Verizon customers at the high end looking to reduce their spending on home internet services.”

Interestingly, internet bills have only increased 1.7% since 2021, which is much less than other utility bills.

Curious about what we are willing to cut back on? Eating out and buying new clothes will disappear before we eliminate our internet connection.

How to spend less on your internet bills

Reducing your internet bill is possible, often without cutting into the service level you prefer. Bundling your mobile phone, TV, home phone and internet is an option, as is purchasing your own internet equipment like modems and routers, versus renting from the provider.

It never hurts to call your provider to negotiate your bill, especially if you’ve been a longtime customer with a solid payment history.

Shopping for a new internet plan is easy and can also save you money. Find and compare what internet options you have in your area with Allconnect.

Read more industry news from Allconnect.

Robin Layton

Written by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

Robin Layton is an editor for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. She built her internet industry expertise writing and editing for four years on the site, as well as on Allconnect’s sister site … Read more