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New Survey Reveals Connectivity Challenges and Technical Support Experiences for Broadband Users During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic created a surge in home network usage and issues, and disrupted customer contact-center operations for broadband service providers around the globe. Sweepr, the provider of simple care for the connected home, surveyed broadband users

Dublin, Ireland(01 Jul 2020)

      The COVID-19 pandemic created a surge in home network usage and issues, and disrupted customer contact-center operations for broadband service providers around the globe. Sweepr, the provider of simple care for the connected home, surveyed broadband users to examine their recent customer support experiences and inclination to use digital self-service. 

      The survey of more than 600 consumers across the U.S. and UK found that of those who experienced technical issues, 58% could not connect to the Internet; 59% experienced slow broadband speeds; 27% had a router/modem issue; and nearly 20% could not connect to a service, such as Netflix–over a recent sixty-day period. In response, 82% first tried to fix the problem themselves, citing speed and convenience as their top two motivators. However, 72% of those who relied on their provider’s self-service tools found them not easy to find, and 71% said those instructions were also not easy to understand. 

      While 55% of all people could not fix their own issues, the difficulty was far more acute for less tech-savvy consumers. 73% of self-described, non-technical people failed to fix their own problems. In total, 80% of all respondents who failed to fix their problems transferred to a customer support center, and 80% of them had their issue fixed remotely without the need to send a technician to the home. 

      “Both consumers and service providers are at a critical inflection point when it comes to digital self-service, accelerated by the COVID-19 situation,” said Alan Coleman, Founder and CEO of Sweepr. “People want to solve their own home tech issues quickly, and service providers want to keep those customers happy while minimizing costs. This survey showed there’s significant room for improvement on both fronts, but also unveiled a powerful upside. If 80% of tech issues can be fixed remotely by a care agent, imagine the possibilities if more of that power was automated, simplified, and placed in the hands of consumers.”  

      The survey also found:

      • While 45% were able to fix their own tech issues, 55% failed to do so. Of those who failed, 80% contacted customer support, and the remaining 20% just stopped trying.
      • Consumers were willing to spend time fixing their own issues, up to a point. Almost 3 out of 4 respondents were willing to spend 30 minutes or less to fix their own tech issues. Only 17% spent up to an hour trying to fix their tech issues, while just 3% spent up to three hours.
      • When looking to fix a technical issue, a broadband provider’s online self-service tools were slightly more favored and used by 38% of people, while 37% used other online resources, and 25% asked the advice of family and friends.
      • 17% of successful resolutions were attributable to broadband provider self-service support tools.
      • Traditional support channels took considerable time. More than 1 in 3 people were on hold for more than 30 minutes to reach an agent.
      • Among self-described, non-technical people only 17% had their issue fixed upon first contact with an agent, and they were 2.5 times more likely to require five contacts to fix their issue than more tech-savvy people. 
      • More than 1 in 3 of all respondents spent an average of 90 minutes on their tech support issue. 
      • Additional details from the survey can be found at

      Sweepr aims to make self-service simple for the connected home. Sweepr provides a white-label, cloud-based platform that enables service providers and connected device manufacturers to respond to consumers’ support requests in the moment of need. Sweepr combines information from home networks, connected devices, and service diagnostics to build context for a user’s problem, using a combination of data analytics, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) techniques.

      The Sweepr Platform then works to diagnose issues and deliver contextually adaptive support based on “personas” that reflect the technical competence of users’ requests. It provides instructions, text, images, and/or videos via digital self-care support channels including voice assistants, mobile apps, chatbots, interactive voice responses (IVRs), and more–all aimed at reducing the need to contact a call center. For example, consumers can ask simple questions like, “Why is my Internet connection glitchy?” or “Why is my Netflix slow?”. 

      Depending on the situation, the Sweepr Platform works to provide automated fixes; guided self-service recommendations; upgrade recommendations; and/or conveys detailed incident records directly to customer care agents to enable efficient and effective follow-up. Sweepr currently works with leading broadband service providers and connected appliance manufacturers in deployments across North America and Europe. 

      Additional information about Sweepr can be found at

      About Sweepr

      Sweepr ( was founded in Dublin in 2017 and provides a contextually adaptive technical support platform for connected homes. With Sweepr, communication service providers and connected product manufacturers can transform how they offer technical support, enabling consumers to resolve issues without calling customer care. Sweepr’s strategic investors include the Amazon Alexa Fund, Draper Esprit, and Frontline.