Behind Closed Doors: COVID-19’s Impact on Household Internet Use

Our Blog

ShareTracker has released new data from its latest household survey, a national sample of 2,297 adults aged 18 or over. The survey was distributed March 17-23 and offers critical data on how the developing COVID-19 pandemic is impacting consumer internet usage.

Impact On Working Habits

According to our research, the biggest impact of expanding quarantines can be seen in the growth of the remote labor force. Nearly half of all surveyed households reported having one or more family members working from home. In addition, only 8 percent of households reported having no change regarding home workers. The same was true for households with people who are studying from home.

Speed The Driver For Change

The research also seems to suggest growing consumer frustration with slow internet speeds. Nearly one in five consumers are planning to upgrade their internet service for a higher speed in the next 30 days. Meanwhile, just three percent of consumers are considering downgrading their internet service to cut costs, compared to 10 percent of wireless end-users.

Change to internet service

Consumers Staying the Course On Carrier

At present, only 20 percent of consumers have made changes to their consumption habits—something that could easily change if social distancing measures continue and people remain inside for an extended period. Of note is the fact that consumers largely seem satisfied with the content of their streaming services, with only 14 percent planning to add new services to their lineups. Further insight on subscriber streaming is available here.


Of note is the fact that the majority of internet and wireless providers seem to be carrying on as normal regarding service policies, with 70 percent of consumers saying they haven’t received any special service treatment during the COVID-19 crisis.


Speed Important But Over A Third Are Looking For Discounts

Consumers who have received offers from the internet and wireless providers spoke out, indicating the offers that they deem most valuable. Right now, the majority of consumers want faster speeds—something that could become increasingly difficult in the weeks ahead, if more people start working and studying from home.

ShareTracker will be providing an update on the impact to the B2B community on Monday.