The United Kingdom is apparently a magical land where Scotch eggs can be found on every corner, the Queen’s Guard runs people over, and broadband subscribers actually have options when it comes to choosing a service provider for their home internet. Choices? What on Earth are those?!

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We always talk about broadband internet speeds, and there’s no question that fast home internet service has become a necessity in this day and age. Interestingly though, when people actually have choices and can shop around among several different ISPs, speeds are not their top priority when comparison shopping.

That’s right, price is the No. 1 factor for people shopping for broadband internet service.

A survey conducted by Cable.co.uk asked people to rate several different factors that impact purchase decisions on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the most important and 1 is the least. Price received an average rating of 8.2 to find its way to the top of the pile, while the existence of usage limits (7.99), data speeds (7.59), contract length (6.98) and voice calling bundles (6.52) rounded out the top five.

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“With price the number one consideration when comparing broadband deals, you’d think most of us would be paying as little as possible,” said Cable.co.uk’s Dan Howdle. “Nothing could be further from the truth, however.”

He continued, “Research we conducted earlier this year found that half of us have never switched broadband provider. Not once. That’s a vast proportion of people stuck in deals they’re almost certainly paying too much for. It’s a sort of collective dissonance, where, on the one hand, we all want to pay less for our broadband, and on the other we can’t be bothered with the hassle of switching broadband providers. We should not be so easily put off.”

Interesting indeed, though it’s hard for us to empathize. Here in the U.S., when people actually do have a choice, it’s typically only between two ISPs that offer similar bundle pricing. The only upside is often the fact that customers can often threaten to switch in order to extend their lower introductory pricing after their one- or two-year introductory pricing is set to expire.

In many areas though — like my house, where Time Warner Cable is the only game in town — there is still only one option for home customers seeking high-speed cable or fiber internet service.

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