Posted: 3 September 2020

Lockdown inspires new generation of silver surfers

  • Data reveals 42% year-on-year increase in internet usage among over 75s
  • Only demographic whose internet usage has continued to rise during lockdown*
  • Study shows 55% of Gen X and Baby Boomers would now NOT buy a new home without a fast, reliable internet connection

2 September 2020: New broadband data released today has revealed the transformative effect of lockdown on internet usage by older generations in the UK.

The network data from connectivity provider TalkTalk looks at internet consumption across age groups during lockdown, revealing that usage by over 75s has risen by 42% year-on-year*. The average data consumption per person in the age group was over 50gb a month, the equivalent to streaming 71 hours of Netflix. 

The data also reveals that over 75s are only demographic whose internet usage has continued to increase over lockdown – all other age groups peaked in April – suggesting that over 75s are becoming more confident in their online behaviours and adapting accordingly.

A recent study conducted by TalkTalk into the importance of broadband when buying a new home provided further evidence of older generations’ increasing reliance on the internet.

Over half (55%) of over 55s said they would consider not buying a house if it didn’t have a fast, reliable internet connection, while more than a third (36%) admitted they rely on their internet 24/7.

Nearly two thirds (60%) of over 55s said a fast, reliable internet connection is important when buying a new home, ranking it above double glazing (56%), friendly neighbours (49%) and close proximity to shops (39%).

Most important factors when buying a new home for over 55s in the UK:

  1. Garden (80%)
  2. Quiet road (65%)
  3. Fast, reliable broadband (60%)
  4. Double glazing (56%)
  5. Friendly neighbours (49%)
  6. Close to shops (39%)
  7. Good transport links (39%)
  8. South facing property (26%)
  9. A shed or outside working space (16%)
  10. A study (10%)

Getting the broadband set up when moving into a new home is also a major priority for over 55s. They ranked it as more important than buying new furniture (72%), painting the walls (72%), putting up photos and décor (70%) making small repairs (55% and introducing yourself to the neighbours (55%).

Gary Steen, Technology Managing Director at TalkTalk, said: “This data reflects the changing digital landscape in the UK today as all of us have become more reliant on our internet during lockdown. It is really encouraging to see older age groups embracing this new normal and at TalkTalk we are doing all that we can to ensure every one of our customers receives the service they need to make the very most of their broadband connection. Thanks to our industry leading fibre broadband speeds*** TalkTalk customers can count on us for fast, reliable connectivity and enjoy all that the internet has to offer.”




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*Data range covers March to June 2020

**July 2019 internet usage: 38gb per month. June 2020 internet usage: 54gb per month

***Ofcom’s 2020 UK Home Broadband Performance Report showed that on any given 24 hour period TalkTalk has the fastest average download speeds on both its Faster Fibre and Superfast Fibre broadband versus BT, Sky, Plusnet and Vodafone.

Links to Ofcom data: