17 May 2021

More than half of Spaniards struggle with slow Internet connection

  • DE-CIX survey on Internet quality shows that 20% of Spaniards experience Internet problems on a daily basis and 25% several times a week
  • In addition, 63% are considering a change of Internet provider

Madrid, 17 May 2021: DE-CIX, the world’s leading Internet Exchange operator, has undertaken a survey of the Spanish population to investigate the quality of Internet connections and the possibility of delays, as well as the most common problems they experience. The main finding is that more than half (55.7%) of respondents experience a slow connection regularly  while using services that depend on the Internet, mostly (46.9%) while using video platforms such as Netflix, Youtube or HBO. Out of the 55.7%, 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.  

Working from home also played a major role in the responses, with 27.8% stating they have a slow connection while working from home and 66.7% saying that this is the area that it is most important not to experience outages or a slow connection, followed by online education (52%) and video streaming platforms (41.2%).

For 47.8% of respondents, Internet quality is essential especially when playing online games and watching Twitch. Amongst young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 years, this percentage rises to 77%.

When asked about the cause of these connection problems, almost half of the respondents (47.7%) attributed it to network overload. In addition, 22.3% of users are of the opinion that the router provided by the Internet Service Provider is of poor quality or does not sufficiently high-powered. People between 25 and 34 years old consider the second-most likely cause to be “content providers’ servers” being slow, demonstrating a greater knowledge of the Internet infrastructure.

According to the survey data, more than half of users (60.3%) are highly dissatisfied when content stops loading while they are enjoying it, or that it takes a long time to load (57.5%), while more than a third of respondents are annoyed by delays between making an action and getting a response.

Finally, 63% of those who are generally experiencing connection problems are considering switching Internet providers. On top, 32% of those who experience daily slow connection would “very likely” switch.

“The Internet is a complex system and an interplay of many parties. For an optimal user experience and the lowest latency possible, we must continue to expand the digital infrastructures and increasingly rely on decentralized data centers close 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 an optimal performance. Latency is the new currency of our digital age,” says Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX International.

Recently, the company also conducted a study of the same characteristics in Germany, which showed the same connection problems for 33% of the population. They also coincide in attributing these failures to factors external to the household, such as the lack of regional infrastructure development (57%) or network overload (53%).

This study was carried out in late April 2021 by Appinio, a digital market research platform, with a base of 1,000 people of all age ranges. The average age was 40 years with an equal 50/50 split between men and women.