Brits would pay £1.45 billion per year for better telecoms – but won't tolerate security breaches

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Consumers in the UK would pay almost one and a half billion pounds extra per year in telecoms industry revenue for improved services, but won't tolerate security breaches. 

In a poll of 2,000 UK adults conducted by KPMG, the consumers would pay £900 million per year for better customer service and less dropped calls, while they would pay another £550 million per year for improved reliability of broadband. 

Alex Holt, Partner and Head of Telco, Media and Technology, KPMG in the UK, commented: “Today’s consumers love their connected lives, so their tolerance is extremely low for anything that prevents connections with the devices or services they want. Before Telcos can get a license to up and cross sell, they’ve got to get the basics right and deliver a great connected experience. 

While this indicates the hunger for improved telecommunications services in the UK, most Brits will not tolerate security breaches with half responding they would cancel their contract if their personal data was leaked even if they had to pay an "early exit" fee to do so. 

UK ISP TalkTalk felt the brunt of this earlier last year after nearly 157,000 customers had details leaked in a cyber attack which the company believes would cost it £35 million in 'one-off costs' before factoring the loss of customers and the record £400,000 fine it received from the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) after the breach. 

According to KPMG's research, UK consumers are twice as likely to switch providers after becoming the victim of a security breach than being subjected to rude or unhelpful staff. 

Providers offering, or planning to offer, bundles of services will be happy to hear of the appetite from UK consumers for buying extra products from their current telecoms provider. Around half are willing to purchase either smart watches or connected kitchen appliances, while one in five would buy smart home security products. 

When it comes to quad-play packages of television, broadband internet, landline phone, and mobile services, around one-third of respondents would consider such a package while the majority reserve concerns about relying on a single provider. 

“We believe that telcos have a great opportunity to define the connected world. They need to take action now, invest in great infrastructure and position themselves as the logical and trustworthy digital curator to the consumers exciting, but daunting journey into the connected world. In short - get the basics right today to realise the opportunity of the connected world tomorrow,” Holt concluded. 

The report entitled ‘The digital telco: gateway to the connected world’ is available here 

What are your thoughts on the results of the report? Let us know in the comments.

Editor's note 03 Nov: A previous version of this article stated that TalkTalk's fine was £400 million - the fine was £400,000. TelecomsTech is happy to correct the record.

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