Tuesday, April 28, 2009

UK: A large part of the population is still baffled by "jargon" such as broadband, dongle, ADSL and blu-ray

[Virgin] 44 per cent of all internet users left in the dark by the word ‘mega-bit’,
One in three will not download due to security worries, 17 per cent don’t know what broadband is and one in ten think ‘Blu-ray’ is a type of broadband.

Virgin Media today unveiled research into the nation’s understanding of the internet, revealing that Britain is still baffled when it comes to broadband. The UK’s fastest broadband provider has also released plans to trial free ‘Broadband Schools’ to help tackle the issue.

The study of over 3,000 internet users, commissioned by Virgin Media, found that many people are still puzzled by broadband jargon and there is confusion around topics such as security and speed. Even when it comes to getting started, some people are confused by the basic language associated with broadband.

To help tackle the confusion and ensure Brits get a better understanding of broadband, Sir Richard Branson has today announced plans to trial Virgin Media ‘Broadband Schools’, starting with the cities with the least broadband knowledge.

Richard commented: “As many of you may know I’ve never been terribly technical and I’m not at all ashamed to say that I’m probably a prime candidate for a Broadband School.

“I’m not alone, there are thousands of people in the same boat, and the only way they will ever learn is if things are kept simple. At Virgin Media we want everyone to feel comfortable asking questions, no matter how silly they think they are, so that they can get the most out of their internet service and enjoy everything the internet has to offer.”

Surprisingly, around one fifth (18 per cent) of internet users surveyed were not aware what broadband actually is, whilst seven per cent believed ‘Blu-ray’ to be a type of broadband. Perhaps understandably then, 40 per cent were not aware what ADSL broadband is, and just under half (45 per cent) were left scratching their head by the term ‘dongle’.

The research found that one of the most common myths about broadband is that it relies on having a phone line. A whopping 53 per cent, over half of all internet users, are unaware that this is not the case. Fibre optic cable or mobile broadband actually provide phone line-free alternatives to those who don’t want to be tied to a landline.

Perhaps more surprisingly, 40 per cent of web users are not sure what an ‘internet browser’ is and almost half are puzzled by the term ‘meg’ (Mb) used to measure broadband speeds. There is further confusion when it comes to watching TV via the internet. Despite the success of BBC iPlayer, less than one fifth (18 per cent) of internet users understand the term ‘IPTV’.

Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media said, “It’s great to see that Brits have a thirst for getting online but there is still scope to improve their broadband experience. We want to help people understand the language of the internet, by cutting through the jargon, using simple and honest terms that everyone can understand and bringing broadband back to basics.

“At Virgin Media, we are very passionate about ensuring that our customers get more from their broadband and get the ultrafast internet experience they deserve as well as valuable extras. Through our current marketing campaign we are bringing ‘Broadband Power to the People’ – inspiring internet users across the country to see the potential of ultrafast broadband and how it can transform their lives.”

Dongle dilemmas, broadband bamboozles and mega-bit mayhem

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