broadband insights

Citi Mappers: Broadband Edition

Citi Mappers: Broadband Edition 2238 1378 Georgie Morgan

We mapped Citizens’ broadband insights and this is what happened

Sometimes the story’s about the story, and sometimes the story’s about the data – in this case, it’s about broadband insights. We wanted to understand the differences in broadband speed across the UK and what impacted these. To do this, we surveyed 500 UK Citizens, who were asked to test their home internet upload and download speeds using an in-app link and our Prototype question tool. 

CitizenMe is unique because we’re a supplier of data without holding any personal data. None. Zero. Zilch. Instead, because all the data you see is held on an individual Citizen’s smartphone, it’s up to Citizens to decide what happens with their data. 

They have the power to know where and how their data is stored, and with whom they want to share it. For our clients, we remove ‘the middleman’ and offer direct, unmediated access through our cutting edge, ‘on-the-edge’ technology to verified and verifiable respondents. 

Are you for real?

How is it verified? Good question. For this broadband insights survey, as Citizens uploaded images from the in-app link on the CitizenMe app, we were able to validate the data in real time. We mapped the broadband insights to illustrate the two problems brands and companies typically face when conducting market research: ‘how can we be sure we know who we are speaking to?’ and ‘how can we be sure that what people say is what they do?’

Who is this?

Because the data is stored on each Citizen’s phone, and because they have to give permission each time they share data, our KYC (Know Your Customer) standards and checks are of the highest available standard. No bots. No farmed responses. Who you’re speaking to is the respondent, and it’s all within GDPR – and PII-compliant (Personally Identifiable Information) guidelines. As there’s no intermediary or third party involved, clients receive the data faster than through traditional market research and panel providers.  

Claimed vs Actual data

We know that, with all the best intentions, what people say they do isn’t necessarily what they do. Whether it’s the inability to recall specific actions, cognitive bias or any of a myriad number of other factors, what people claim isn’t necessarily a true reflection of their actions. 

The CitizenMe Prototype Tool was designed to help overcome this. Advanced questions such as Prototypes, images, gifs and videos enable Citizens to respond live and in-stream. So, what people say, what they do and how they behave can now be visualised all in the same place. You can watch a video on how Prototype questions work in Marketplace below:

So our Prototype tool gives Citizens the chance to enjoy a more interactive, varied and fun way of taking surveys, and it gives clients the opportunity to incorporate user-experience (UX) testing, for the first time, into the heart of customer surveys.  

So how did this play out with our broadband insights survey? A Prototype question was used to enable Citizens to test their broadband speed, allowing us to gain deeper broadband insights. The question outlined to Citizens how to access this webpage https://www.broadbandspeedtest.org.uk/ and to screenshot the results. Alongside upload and download speeds, the screenshot also included provider, ping speed and latency. Citizens then uploaded these results within their app, thereby ensuring reported broadband speeds were completely accurate; no ‘claimed’ data, just screenshots from the broadband speed test website.  

The treasure ‘map’

Because we wanted to understand key audience differences, we also asked Citizens to share some of the 400+ passive/behavioural data points of their CitizenData. These included: 

  • Gender 
  • Age
  • Region of residence
  • Postcode area and sector 
  • UK social class
  • Living situation 
  • Home area 

To supplement this with a ‘commercial’ view, we also asked the following questions:

  1. Who is your current broadband provider? (Multiple choice)
  2. How much do you pay for their broadband and line rental? (Single choice) 
  3. Would you be happy to participate in an activity to test your broadband speed? (Prototype)
  4. Test and screenshot your broadband speed (Image upload)

The result was the ideal ‘trifecta’ of client needs:

  • Who we were speaking to 
  • Where they were, and
  • Behaviours matched to verified actions.

From this, we were able to produce a rich, detailed and accurate ‘mapping’ of UK broadband speeds, providing real-time broadband insights from across the UK. 

Virgin territory

The results? Well, Virgin Media was both the most used provider and also offered the fastest download average speed. For uploading, Vodafone offered the quickest average speed:



We also saw some interesting differences in household type, with those either living with their parents (£30.73) or their children (£30.31) both paying, on average, 25%+ per month more than those living alone (£23.98). 

However, the price paid was also a reflection of download speeds, with those living alone tending to have the slowest average download speed (63mbps), compared to those who live with their children averaging 78mbps, and the fastest download speed belonging to those who live with their parents, averaging 94mbps. 

Exploring the data

The interactive map on which our broadband location insights and findings were based, and which you can now access free of charge, is here. Each layer on the map represents a different lens under which you can look at the data. For example, if you wish to understand how the price of broadband varies across the country, click the price checkbox and this layer will be generated:

The future of data

Along with these deep broadband insight results, our prototype tool successfully showcases that the future of data, centred around the individual, is here. You are able to know who you are speaking to and verify their actions. The more accurate your understanding of your customers, your data, and your world, the lower the risk you carry. Our mission is to build in that certainty, provide confidence in the data you use, and lower your risk. We believe that a healthy information economy produces sustainable growth and more accurate, more valuable data for businesses. Real people, real data, shared ethically and honestly, creates less liability and more opportunity.

By providing an unprecedented variety of verified Citizen zero-party data without data risk, by revealing CitizenData through the magic of tech using new functions like Prototypes, and by empowering Citizens to take control of their data, and how and when it’s used – we’ve reached the next stage. But the future of data is yours. 

To see how we can transform your data world, you can sign up for the CitizenMe Marketplace platform, or book an appointment with our business development team.