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Streaming video boom leading homes with kids to upgrade broadband

Over a fifth of US households with larger families have upgraded their broadband connections to accommodate greater streaming consumption during the coronavirus lockdown period in significant numbers, according to research from The Diffusion Group (TDG). 

The research outfit found that 21% of broadband households with three or more children at home upgraded their internet service in April 2020, due largely to spikes in online media behaviour. 

According to TDG, 7% of US broadband households overall upgraded their service in April 2020, a rate that varies significantly according to the number of children under 18 living at home.

Only 4% of broadband households without children under 18 at home upgraded their internet service in April. 

However, the upgrade rate was 9.7% among single-child households, 13.7% among two-child households, and 20.9% among those with three or more children at home, according to a survey of 1,995 US adult broadband users.

Families with multiple children at home were more likely to increase use of OTT SVOD services like Netflix, with 61% of such homes upping their consumption versus 48% among single-child and 44% among no-child households. 

Multiple-child homes were more likely to have more household members using the internet simultaneously, at 61% versus 56% for one-child homes and 38% for no-child homes. 

Larger family homes were also more likely to require a faster speed of service for home-working, at 57% versus 52% and 46% respectively. They were also more likely to increase the use of PC/console gaming and to need immediate access to news related to COVID-19. 

Fifty-six percent of households without children under 18 at home said that having a broadband connection had become more important during the pandemic compared with 69% for single-child homes and 72% of homes with multiple children.

“Each of these factors rise in significance as the number of users and time spent in-home increases,” said Michael Greeson, TDG president and principal analyst.