50% of surveyed Brits don’t fully understand how the Internet works despite the majority feeling anxious if not able to connect

London – September 30, 2014


Global study reveals UK’s emotional connection to the net and need to be online


Tata Communications, a leading provider of A New World of Communications™, whose network is used by over 24% of the world’s internet routes, today announces the results of its global report, entitled ‘Connected World II.’ It reveals that half of the people in the UK surveyed don’t fully understand how the Internet works. This is despite an emotional attachment to it, with 62% of surveyed Brits feeling angry and anxious or having a fear of missing out (FOMO) when unable to get online. The global report captured 9,417 responses from around the world including 1,770 internet users in the UK – to better understand how users engage and connect with the Internet today.

Overall, the results show surveyed Brits to be highly dependent on the Internet. 13% of surveyed UK internet users admit they couldn’t go an hour without being connected and 37% of 15-35 year olds use the Internet for six or more hours each day.

Other UK highlights from the report include:

  • Over two thirds of UK respondents (70%) incorrectly think the World Wide Web (invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee) and the Internet are one and the same
  • The British sense of fair play extends online with 72% of respondents stating that the Internet belonged to everyone (as opposed to the correct answer of ‘each individual country’), second only to Germany, where 80% of respondents gave the same response
  • The report reveals that surveyed Britons have an emotional connection to the Internet, with 62% suffering from FOMO, anger or anxiety when unable to connect
  • As a result, surveyed Britons are using the Internet more than ever before, with 37% of 15-35 year olds using the Internet for six or more hours each day. When it comes to millennials, 5% of surveyed 15-25 year olds said they couldn’t survive even fifteen minutes without an internet connection
  • Surprisingly, wearable technology was low on the list of innovations surveyed people are most looking forward to (15%), with downloads at light speed (35%) a clear leader; and smart cities (17%) proving more inspirational
  • Interestingly, smart cities are seen as a bigger priority for the UK respondents (17%) than respondents in France and Germany; where only 10% of French respondents and 7% of Germans respondents see smart cities as the most inspirational opportunity in the next three to five years
  • On a positive note, the cloud, once considered a business-to-business technology, is well and truly mainstream with 74% of UK respondents able to correctly state that information in the cloud is actually held in data centres

In Germany, 38% of people questioned would happily give up alcohol for internet access. France remained true to its love of wine with only 27% of respondents willing to give up alcohol for internet access.

Julie Woods-Moss, Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of Tata Communications’ Nextgen Business, says, “The Internet has truly changed the way we function. As technologies evolve and adapt, there is a huge potential for the Internet to affect different aspects of life, economy and society. The use of these technologies will continue to expand in unexpected ways, and organisations will need to continuously explore, adapt and embrace new digital realities to thrive in. A better understanding of the Internet is likely to improve the appreciation of the Internet and its capabilities leading to new and innovative ways to incorporate digital resources into daily activities.”

Globally, the biggest difference in opinion comes when the respondents from emerging markets and those from developed economies were compared in their vision of the most ‘inspirational opportunity’ that the Internet can enable in the next three to five years. The Asian countries (respondents from Singapore 32% and India 27%) picked smart cities as the most inspirational opportunity, whereas the respondents from U.S. (29%), UK (35%), France (25%) and Germany (45%) view light speed connectivity as the most inspirational.

As more and more global consumers demand greater flexibility with regards to their digital footprint (connected devices, mobility, access to higher bandwidth speed and capacity), Tata Communications recognises the critical role that the Internet plays in facilitating and controlling seamless access between the IT user and service provider (internal or external). Private and business consumers are looking for that ‘just works’ internet experience that allows them to seamlessly switch their home technology to the work place and vice versa. Tata Communications is creating an open communications infrastructure ecosystem that makes the Internet Fit for Business, ensuring high quality and predictable internet that delivers a robust digital ecosystem that’s equipped for the future and that can cope with customers’ demands of intelligence, scalability and reliability.

Tata Communications’ global connectivity services are built on the world’s largest and most advanced global sub-sea cable network, which enables carriers and enterprises to connect almost anywhere in the world. The cable network boasts significant depth in the key emerging markets including Asia, Middle East and Africa. Over 24% of the world’s internet routes use Tata Communications’ network.

For those interested in how the Internet actually works, a video can be found [here]. The complete global report can be found [here].

About the survey

Tata Communications conducted an online survey that comprised of 14 closed questions, aimed at capturing behavioural, technical and philosophical responses in relation to people’s associations, understanding and emotional connections to the Internet.  A total of 9,417 respondents across six countries: India, Singapore, UK, USA, Germany and France participated in the survey. Out of the total number of respondents surveyed, 50% of them are women and 50% men. 33% of the respondents are from Asia (India and Singapore), 52% from Europe (UK, France and Germany) and 15% from North America with age ranges: 15-25=11%, 25-35=23%, 35-45=22%, 45-55=22%, 55-65=21%. The findings of this survey were then analysed as an aggregate of the responses and further based on age, gender and location to arrive at the insights.



Tim Masih
Tata Communications
+44 (0)7557 319 214


Paul Crouch
Hill & Knowlton Strategies
+44 (0)20 7413 3713

About Tata Communications

Tata Communications Limited (CIN no: L64200MH1986PLC039266) along with its subsidiaries (Tata Communications) is a leading global provider of A New World of CommunicationsTM. With a leadership position in emerging markets, Tata Communications leverages its advanced solutions capabilities and domain expertise across its global and pan-India network to deliver managed solutions to multi-national enterprises, service providers and Indian consumers.

The Tata Communications global network includes one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks and a Tier-1 IP network with connectivity to over 240 countries and territories across 400 PoPs, as well as nearly 1 million square feet of data centre and collocation space worldwide.

Tata Communications’ depth and breadth of reach in emerging markets includes leadership in Indian enterprise data services and leadership in global international voice. Tata Communications Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.


Forward-looking and cautionary statements

Certain words and statements in this release concerning Tata Communications and its prospects, and other statements, including those relating to Tata Communications’ expected financial position, business strategy, the future development of Tata Communications’ operations, and the general economy in India, are forward-looking statements. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including financial, regulatory and environmental, as well as those relating to industry growth and trend projections, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Tata Communications, or industry results, to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements include, among others, failure to increase the volume of traffic on Tata Communications’ network; failure to develop new products and services that meet customer demands and generate acceptable margins; failure to successfully complete commercial testing of new technology and information systems to support new products and services, including voice transmission services; failure to stabilize or reduce the rate of price compression on certain of the company’s communications services; failure to integrate strategic acquisitions and changes in government policies or regulations of India and, in particular, changes relating to the administration of Tata Communications’ industry; and, in general, the economic, business and credit conditions in India. Additional factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, many of which are not in Tata Communications’ control, include, but are not limited to, those risk factors discussed in Tata Communications Limited’s Annual Reports. The Annual Reports of Tata Communications Limited are available at https://www.tatacommunications.com. Tata Communications is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements.