Home broadband is top innovation of the last decade

Darren Allan
Darren Allan -

A recent study asked what British people consider to be the innovation which has contributed the most to their lives since the turn of the millennium.

And the answer, the report by consultancy The Foundation discovered, was home broadband.

Fast net connections have enabled folks to do a lot more from home, including using the next two innovations which were voted second and third most important of the decade. Namely, online shopping and Google.

Broadband romped home in the top spot, though, with half of respondents ranking it as the most vital innovation which has had the most positive impact on their lives.

When questioned as to the reasons why their top innovations were beneficial, the 2,200 consumers surveyed said that the most important considerations were just general “usefulness” (which two-thirds cited) and the ability to save time (55%).

40% considered cost savings to be important – but only 28% were bothered by an innovation being cutting-edge technology.

Other innovations in the top ten after broadband, online shopping and Google, included chip and pin in fourth place, then digital cameras, online comparison sites (but not the adverts for them), and community recycling.

The study also asked what were the least favoured innovations, or “innov-hates” as The Foundation labelled them. Reality TV came top of this category, but perhaps a tad surprisingly, Facebook was the second most loathed. Twitter was actually the fourth most hated, too, behind pop-up adverts in third.

That would leave ads for My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on social networks being one of the most hated creations of the millennium so far. Sounds about right.

Charlie Dawson, Partner at The Foundation, commented: “This survey shows what good and bad innovation looks like to customers. Home broadband was the winner, perhaps surprising if you thought innovation was all about shiny new gadgets.”

“It’s a reminder of how useful broadband has become for most people in the UK. It allows us to do lots of things more quickly, more effectively and with a lot less effort, from shopping to dating to finding stuff out. Perhaps this explains why 71% of UK households have broadband despite it being an extra cost that no one had to pay before it existed.”

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