One in four surveyed Americans say they can’t survive more than five hours without access to the Internet

New York – September 30, 2014


Tata Communications’ global survey finds U.S. respondents are emotional about their connection to the Internet despite being in the dark about where it comes from


One in four surveyed Americans admit they can’t survive more than five hours without using the Internet in their daily life, and more than half (54%) acknowledge feelings of fear, anger and anxiety when disconnected from the Internet, according to a new global report, titled ‘Connected World II,’ released today by Tata Communications . While one in ten of U.S. respondents between the ages of 15-45 spend more than 12 hours a day on the Internet, the majority were unable to identify how the Internet works, where it comes from, and who owns it.

These findings are part of Tata Communications’ global survey titled ‘Connected World II’, a study that explores the behavioral patterns and technical knowledge of internet users around the world and their emotional connection to the web. 1,469 Americans were polled in the survey, and Tata Communications collectively capture responses of more than 9,400 people across six countries, including France, Germany, India, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Tata Communications, the $3.2 billion telecommunications arm of the $%{{tata_group_mcap}} billion Tata group, owns and operates the world’s largest and wholly-owned sub-sea fibre network, with over 24% of the world’s internet routes using it. More than 100,000 people are calling another country using Tata Communications’ global voice network at this second, and four out of five global mobile subscribers are connected by Tata Communications. However, the study confirmed that the majority of surveyed Americans don’t know what’s enabling those calls or connecting them to the Internet. In fact, almost nine in ten (88%) of surveyed Americans don’t know the fastest mode of internet delivery and close to half (47%) don’t know where the Internet resides.

The survey results also found that 77% of global respondents believe the most beneficial impact of the Internet is its ability to connect people globally with incredible speed,” says Julie Woods-Moss, Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of Tata Communications’ Nextgen Business. This belief has been the guiding force of our business strategy in the past, and is the essence on which we have built our networks to support some of the biggest U.S. enterprises entering the emerging markets – reaching global audiences faster, expanding into new territories and driving better collaboration worldwide.”

Other U.S. and global findings from the survey include:

Behaviour patterns & insights

  • 8.9 hours was the global average time that respondents felt they could survive without the Internet
  • 64% of global respondents admit to feelings of fear, anxiety and anger when not connected to the Internet
  • 43% of global respondents ages 15-35 spend over six hours per day actively using the Internet with 92% of surveyed people spending at least one hour a day online

Technical knowledge & expectations

  • When it comes to knowing how the Internet actually works, only half of the global survey respondents can accurately identify network connected data centers as the place where the Internet resides, and 82% of respondents do not know that the fastest mode of internet delivery to their device are sub-sea cables
  • Of global respondents, 64% incorrectly believe that the Internet is infinite and 70% wrongly believe that everyone owns the Internet with only 16% actually indicating knowledge about geo-control
  • U.S. respondents were the least inspired by wearable technology, with interest hovering around 12%. 29% of U.S. respondents consider light speed connectivity the most inspirational opportunity that the Internet will facilitate in the next three to five years, followed by real-life video communications (22%), smart cities (20%) and automated products (17%)

Emotional connections & preferences

  • Global respondents are willing to renounce different activities for an internet connection, but alcohol (28%) seems to be the top trade-off closely followed by television (26%)
  • Almost 30% of surveyed 15-35 year old Americans would give up traditional television for time online and older respondents would put down their beer and wine to stay connected, with a resounding 31% leaving alcohol behind for the Internet

“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,” says Woods-Moss. “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.”

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 behavioral, 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.



Natalie Chak
Tata Communications
+44 (0)7833 043 779


Ellen Moss

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 Tata Communications is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements.