As digitalization is disrupting all spheres of economic life, the influence of internet service providers (ISPs) is growing. To understand the perception of Americans towards ISPs and privacy problems regarding personal information and online activities, Open Garden, a decentralized ISP solution, conducted a survey of 1,000 consumers in the United States.
According to the survey provided in a press release to BlockTelegraph, 63 percent of the people using the services of these providers think that the internet is too expensive. The research showed an overwhelming 81 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that the internet is a public resource.
Even though the internet has become a necessity, users are concerned about the non-monetary costs of utilizing it. Open Garden’s survey showed most consumers in the US are concerned about ISPs monitoring, sharing, and selling of their personal information.
According to the report, over half of the respondents are worried that ISPs monitor their online activities and behavior. They also believe that their data is being shared with government agencies and advertisers. This corresponds with Facebook’s current regulatory backlash for sharing data with Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm. While two-thirds of respondents think their ISPs sell their personal information to advertisers, 75 percent believe that governments have access to their data through ISPs.
“The Internet of Us”
The research undoubtedly suggests the need for ISPs that do not monitor, share, or sell user information. Thus, more than 90 percent of Americans said they would opt for such providers.
“Given the concerns expressed in this survey, it’s clear that people are looking for a more affordable, reliable and private way to access the internet,” said Open Garden Chief Executive, Paul Hainsworth, in a statement. He added, “We are delighted to enable anyone to securely share their connectivity with other people; making a more accessible, faster and secure internet, together,” promoting the firm’s peer-to-peer mesh networking technology.
Open Garden’s network protocol offers a platform to consumers to buy and sell internet connectivity. The decentralized ISP is the latest startup to enter the area of the sharing economy. Other renowned names in the sharing economy include Airbnb, Spotify, and Uber. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a British professional services firm, expects the sharing economy to be worth around $335 billion by 2025, up from $15 billion in 2014, on the back of exceptional growth potential of startups just like Open Garden.
Through its research, Open Garden also verified increasing demand for peer-to-peer solutions, especially among millennials. 60 percent of millennials said that they would purchase internet service from a friend or a neighbor, rather than a traditional ISP, if it were cheaper. Additionally, 58 percent said they would sell connectivity.
Overall, 53 percent showered interest in a sharing economy model for internet service, with millennials interests being seven percent higher than other generations. Yet, most respondents across all generations believe that the cost of internet connectivity is high. The report shows how sharing economy model for internet services resolve consumers’ concerns, such as privacy and high broadband fees.