DE-CIX, the world’s leading Internet Exchange operator conducted a survey in Madrid Spain to reveal how the digital divide is affecting them and investigate the quality of Internet connections and the possibility of delays and troubleshooting. In regional comparison, an FCC report finds that approximately 19 million Americans—6 percent of the population—still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds.  In rural areas, nearly one-fourth of the population —14.5 million people—lack access to this service.

According to a survey conducted in Spain, DE-CIX reports that  “out of the 55.7%, of those who experience slow connection regularly, over 20% suffer from a slow Internet connection on a daily basis, while 25.8% have problems several times a week. 9.8% say that once a week their connection is slow.” In comparison, “27.8% stated they have a slow connection while working from home. 46.9% while experiencing regularly slow speed using video platforms such as Netflix, Youtube or HBO.”

Maintaining a consistent internet connection is important to 66.7% of Spaniards who use the connections for education, game/video streaming, and more. Gamers accounted for 47.8% of respondents and shared that they depend on the quality of their internet for access to online gaming sites, like Twitch. A fun fact that  77% of the gamer respondents were between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. In contrast to Americans, DE-CIX reports their findings to show that 59% of respondents in the US are very satisfied with their connections and 37% somewhat satisfied. 

While it’s challenging to know the real cause for data disruptions on the networks, 47.7% of the DE-CIX survey respondents attributed slower connections “to network overload.  22.3%  are of the opinion that the router provided by the Internet Service Provider is of poor quality or is not sufficiently high-powered.” Among the 25-34-year-old age group, 60.5% were concerned about their Content Provider performance, indicating they were highly dissatisfied.  Of these respondents, 57.5% shared that content stops loading while they are enjoying it, or that it takes a long time to load, and this annoys more than one-third of these viewers. 

Are these complaints enough to switch internet providers?  When 63% of DE-CIX survey respondents answered yes, with 32% of respondents saying they would ‘very likely’ switch as a result of lackluster performance.  This sentiment seems to be true for Americans as well. 49% of the DE-CIX survey respondents from America said that the “ major reason they switched was to get a faster or higher performance Internet connection.” 

“For an optimal user experience and the lowest possible latency, we must continue to expand digital infrastructure locally and globally. Furthermore, we need to continue to decentralize data centers and bring them closer to end-users. Content and applications must be hosted as close as possible to the end-user, at the so-called “edge” of the Internet, to ensure optimal performance. Latency is the new currency of our digital age,” says Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX International.

DE-CIX is the world’s largest carrier and data center neutral multi-service interconnection platform. The company operates throughout North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.  In a similar poll of German residents, DE-CIX’s survey revealed that 33% of the respondents complained about the quality of their Internet connection. The pain points further revealed that 57% of respondents felt the lagging performance was due to the lack of regional infrastructure development, and 53% of the respondents cited network overload. DE-CIX’s research in Spain was completed in April 2021 with support from Appinio, a digital market research platform. The survey polled 1,000 people of all age ranges in Spain with an average age of 40 years old and an equal 50/50 split between men and women. 

For more information please visit DE-CIX