What are the biggest issues consumers have with internet?

Camryn Smith

Sep 7, 2023 — 3 min read

Reliability, price and speeds are big concerns among surveyed Americans.

  • Over 750 Americans* were asked to share their biggest negative issue with their internet service provider. Respondents could choose multiple answers.
  • 37% of respondents claimed internet prices as a reason for switching providers or plans.
  • 20% claimed reliability as a main reason for switching providers or internet plans.
  • Complaints of speed drew 10% of the answers, respectively.

In this Information Age, the U.N. and other organizations have alluded to internet service needing to be identified as a right, with government policy following those lines.

Given these factors, it’s important to keep an eye on the level of access and possible pain points that the average American is facing. We surveyed over 750 internet users from diverse backgrounds and locations to find out what are their biggest issues with internet access. Here are the results:

High broadband prices worry consumers

Regardless of how fast or stable your internet connection ends up being, if you can’t afford a plan at all, you’re not going to stay connected for long. 37% of our survey respondents claimed that price is a main reason that they would either switch internet providers or plans. 

Some providers offer plans at higher-than-average price points. When that provider is only one of the few available in someone’s area, it can leave many feeling like they’re spending too much.

The median price of internet in the U.S. is $74.99/mo. with many people paying between $60/mo. and $90/mo. for their internet plans. There are cheap internet options available, which entices many to switch and save. 

For now, if your area has multiple ISP choices, be sure to shop around for the best deals and bundles.

Reliability is a main pain point for internet customers

Reliability ranks as the most important factor for survey respondents when it comes to internet service, followed by price and speed. 

20% claimed that reliability is a main factor for changing providers or plans. Considering the necessity for a suitable internet connection to stream, game, browse and social network, this is not surprising. 

This is especially apparent in rural areas where many still don’t have access to internet, let alone a reliable option. 

Over eight million people in the U.S. still lack access to high-speed internet options (high-speed broadband is currently defined as 25 Mbps of download speed and 3 Mbps of upload speed). Most American households need more than 25/3 Mbps to handle multiple people using the internet at once, but rural communities are prone to lacking reliable internet access. 

Read more about rural internet access and funding

Speed issues are dragging down users

Surprisingly, only 10% of respondents claimed speed as a main reason for switching internet providers or plans. Speed was also ranked only as the third most important factor regarding internet service.

 Even so, many internet consumers in the U.S. also fail to get the speeds they’re actually paying for. According to Allconnect’s internal data, people are only getting about 32% of the internet speed they pay for, on average. 

Cable and fiber internet companies are the main culprits for advertising extremely high speeds. Usually, you could only achieve close to these advertised speeds with a wired connection through an Ethernet cable. Wirelessly, you’ll likely get much slower speeds than you initially thought. 

New connection types entice some customers

About 9% of survey respondents would switch providers or plans if a new internet connection type became available where they lived. 

Fiber internet, for instance, is the fastest internet technology, but it’s not available everywhere. Many locations can still only receive cable and satellite connections, but if fiber were available, many would switch for its faster speeds and competitive pricing options. 

Find a fiber internet provider near you.

Internet outages

Internet outages are another internet pain point for many consumers. An internet outage is when your internet connection fails and you can no longer access the internet. They can happen on a small scale, like in your home, or on a larger scale like a neighborhood outage. 

A few things can cause internet outages including equipment failure, natural disasters, construction errors and even cyber attacks. They can also occur on your internet provider’s end. 

A quick way to fix an internet outage is to reboot your equipment. If this doesn’t work, call your ISP, there may be a more complex cause to the outage that you won’t be able to fix on your own. 

Not sure what speeds you have? Find out here:

Your speed test results:

Download Speeds

888 Mbps

Upload Speeds

88 Mbps

Need more for the price?

Try these helpful hacks to improve your internet speed. Or if you just want more bang for your buck, check out providers near you with more speed for the price. Either way, we’ll help you find what you need.

View providers near me Rather chat? Give us a call: (844) 451-2720
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Pro Tip: For best results, use an Ethernet cord to connect your router or modem directly to your device before you run the test.

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Camryn Smith

Written by:

Camryn Smith

Cammy is a writer with Allconnect, growing her broadband industry knowledge for over a year on the internet marketplace. Her expertise lies in home internet and broadband service with a focus on providers, plans… Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

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