Consumer lock-in for fixed broadband

In this report for the CCIA, Rob Kenny and Aileen Dennis considered the barriers to switching in fixed broadband. Such barriers are important since many regulators expect consumers to 'police' ISP behaviours, such as traffic management policies and net neutrality violations, by switching to another provider if those policies do them harm. However, if switching barriers are high, consumers may not switch even in the face of such harm.

The report considers:


  • Which types of switching barriers are present in broadband
  • Whether ISP practices and statements suggest they believe switching barriers are high
  • Levels of switching between providers
  • The likelihood of switching in response to a decline in quality


The report also uses new consumer research to quantify broadband switching barriers, finding that for consumers in France, Germany and Italy they are equivalent to a cost of €183.