Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Broadband providers have a significant market opportunity in home workers, according to broadband analyst Point Topic. A recent survey by the firm shows that of the 5.4 million individuals working from home in the UK, 70% use the internet.

Advert: Free OUT-LAW breakfast seminars, UK-wide: Marketing and advertising on the web; and Ownership and sharing of customer dataAccording to Point Topic’s first Broadband User Survey, home workers spend an average of 8 hours a week online for work purposes, with 58% using the internet between 3 and 20 hours each week.

They also spend more on security – an average of £30 per year, as opposed to £19 per year for those who do not work from home, have more hardware and are more computer savvy than non-home workers.

However, the survey of 2,017 home workers reveals that they are more demanding, with twice as many home workers expecting to switch ISPs in the next six months than those who do not work from home.

Small ISPs appear to have the edge when it comes to providing services for home workers, holding 15% of the home worker market as opposed to the 10% share of the general internet market that they currently hold, says Point Topic.

Speaking to vnunet.com, Tim Johnson, Point Topic’s CEO said, "The big ISPs are clearly missing out on this segment of the market.”

"They need to develop more specialised premium brands to get their share of the more high-value business," he added.

In general terms, the survey reveals that home workers are most likely to be family men between 25 and 54 with professional or managerial jobs.

Half of all home workers are freelancers, 42% are teleworkers – employees of another firm, but working from home – and the rest are individuals running a small business, with employees, from home.

Home working is highest in London and the surrounding regions, and lowest in Wales, Yorkshire and the North-West.