Print 78 comment(s) - last by rdeegvainl.. on Jul 8 at 1:28 PM

Study shows many users wouldn't upgrade even if given the option

Comcast has run a national advertising campaign featuring two married turtles named the "Slowskys", who don't want to move into the faster world of cable internet, as they prefer a slower connection.  Surprisingly, a new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that many Americans are much more like the Slowskys than one would think.

The new study indicates that a significant percent of Americans would not want to upgrade from broadband even if was offered for the same price as their dialup connection.

According to the survey 14 percent of Americans who don't have broadband say that they would purchase it, but that it's not available where they live.  Another 35 percent say that the price is too high for broadband.  And 39 percent gave "Other" as their reasoning.

However, the real surprise was that 19 percent said that "nothing" could persuade them to upgrade their slower connection -- not prices, not availability.

John Horrigan, the study's author commented, "That suggests that solving the supply problem where there are availability gaps is only going to go so far.  It's going to have to be a process of getting people more engaged with information technology and demonstrating to people it's worth it for them to make the investment of time and money."

The survey does illustrate a concern that some Americans want broadband but can't get it, denying them opportunities to work online or take classes online.  Of the rural Americans on dialup, 24 percent said they would upgrade if it was available in their area, whereas only 11 percent of suburban users in areas of non-availability and 3 percent of urban users would upgrade.

Vint Cerf, one of the internet's key inventors have been actively advocating greater government promotion of expansion of the internet.  He says that many don't realize what they're missing with dialup.  Further he says that in many areas one company has a monopoly on the high speed business, driving up prices.

Mr. Cerf added, "Some residential users may not see a need for higher speeds because they don't know about or don't have ability to use high speeds.  My enthusiasm for video conferencing improved dramatically when all family members had MacBook Pros with built-in video cameras, for example."

Pew found that 55 percent of Americans had broadband internet, up from 47 percent a year earlier, and 42 percent in March 2007.  Only 10 percent have dialup.  Other studies have shown that over 80 percent of Americans regularly use the internet -- some only use internet at work or school, though.

While broadband growth has been large, among minorities and lower income groups it has shown little traction.  Twenty percent of Americans without internet said they had it, but dropped it for financial reasons.

Thirty percent of those who didn't have internet said they don't want it.  Poor and elderly were mostly likely not to have internet.

The survey was connected between April 8 and May 11.  It surveyed 2,251 U.S. adults, including 1,553 internet users.  The main survey had a 2 percent margin of error, while subgroup analysis, had a 7 percent error margin.

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By DASQ on 7/4/2008 4:54:48 PM , Rating: 5
I'll assume "Other" means "I don't know better".

More speed for the same cost. I don't see a downside there other than the possible week or two required for setup.

RE: Yeah...
By JoshuaBuss on 7/4/2008 5:00:29 PM , Rating: 5
specifically, i bet they didn't even know what 'broadband' means

RE: Yeah...
By FingerMeElmo87 on 7/6/2008 4:59:09 PM , Rating: 3
its not that. its "You've got mail." thats makes them feel special. and thats why they keep it.

RE: Yeah...
By Donkeyshins on 7/7/2008 1:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
"Why on earth would I need to replace my dialup with an all-girl musical group, dagnabbit!?!"

RE: Yeah...
By RIPPolaris on 7/4/2008 5:11:49 PM , Rating: 3
I don't see a downside there other than the possible week or two required for setup.

People who barely even use the internet probably don't want to go through the hassle of upgrading their internet if they won't use it to its full potential anyway.

RE: Yeah...
By fake01 on 7/4/2008 5:40:39 PM , Rating: 3
Than upgrade to 256KB connection. Still around 5 times faster than dialup at basically no extra cost.

We are slowly beginning to move to optic fibres now and people are still on dialup? Surely sooner or later they are going to have to turn of the switch and upgrade cause it ain't gonna be around forever.

RE: Yeah...
By Mr Perfect on 7/4/2008 5:56:43 PM , Rating: 5
Even if they don't pull the plug, surely it will reach a point where you can't actually DO anything at 40Kbs. I still remember dialup years ago, when simply opening an email could be timed in minutes, or downloading a song took most of your afternoon. How are these people browsing pages that are completely rendered in flash?

RE: Yeah...
By TomCorelis on 7/4/2008 6:43:07 PM , Rating: 5
They aren't. They're hitting Google, or the news sites, or the other major portals. Basic web design dictates sites designed mostly in Flash are a bad idea ... and rarely do you see that outside of promotional gimmicks and artist homepages. All the Flash-type gimmicks that people want are written in AJAX now.

RE: Yeah...
By getho on 7/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: Yeah...
By Bluestealth on 7/5/2008 12:50:41 PM , Rating: 5
Yes we ALL know blanket statements are bad, but come on... at least 90% of flash websites are complete and utter garbage.

RE: Yeah...
By Spivonious on 7/5/2008 10:42:10 AM , Rating: 4
I remember 2400baud and turning off the loading of images in Mosaic because it took too long to load them all. I feel old.

RE: Yeah...
By Souka on 7/7/2008 2:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
I remember playing Tdome...on dialup... sweetness

I actually used dialup until...oh...1998/99. Actually had two 52k conenctions that I multi-linked for 104k conenction..sweetness.. :)

RE: Yeah...
By rdeegvainl on 7/8/2008 1:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly, I was using dial up through 2004. I was still living in rural Michigan. It was sad. Though it wasn't too bad. I could get a game of Unreal 2 in. Though downloading the custom maps took forever, and lagged half the people playing. Finally found a group that wouldn't grief me cause of it. Played with MINC. ahh... reminiscing about the crappy old days.

RE: Yeah...
By larson0699 on 7/5/2008 2:02:50 PM , Rating: 2

I don't know what kind of emails you read, but my father's kept his Pentium II Dell and dialup service for 10 years now. I have to say, without an HFSLIP or nLite mod, Windows 2k is quite slow on his machine, but he's never complained about the internet "taking too long".

I recall MP3s each using about a half hour to download. If I liked the song well enough, it was worth the wait. Over the years, I amassed an entire queue worth gigs upon gigs and never once thought, "Man, I wish I had broadband..." (Think of all the telemarketers I blocked!)

Some of us just dealt with it, and of that crowd, enough (like my father) still do to warrant the continued prominence of dialup ISP's in the market. I don't think I would push him to upgrade until some dumb tool moves close enough in his small town for me to *crack the WEP*. Don't think I won't just because it's "illegal". Get some know-how and lock your radio.

Just because Vista's set the ultimate example that everything fattens for no reason -- doesn't mean all will follow. A lot of sites do well to provide low-bandwidth renditions of their pages, and that's for those who aren't just routinely dialing in to check their email.

RE: Yeah...
By ZootyGray on 7/5/2008 2:25:58 PM , Rating: 1
Right on.
DU is slow but it always gets there - been there done that - and I cannot get broadband, so I still do.
Oh - I could spend $80 a month on some satellite solution, whatever. duh.
And any GOOD web designer knows, a web page s/b dialup friendly - cos I won't wait half an hour for the glitzy flash music grafx fat jpegs, etc - get real - waste of bandwidth - that stuff s/b SHRUNK - and that's easy and known fact - proper way to create a webpage.
The NET is founded on redundancy and dialup - when your isp goes down, dialup probably still works - and on the road, there's nothing like webmail and a modem. Wireless is cool too - and the cost = too cheap - all prices are a ripoff. Pure profit, sucker! Hey, look at me, I'm wireless - omg.

RE: Yeah...
By larson0699 on 7/5/2008 2:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, look at me, I'm wireless - omg.
Oh but don't you know it's the WAVE OF TEH FUTUR3!!!!11

I looked into that satellite solution once; you're also hit with a 1-year lease and a few hundred less in your wallet for the equipment and activation. Did you know that in the upstart days of satellite ISP's, you'd rely on a dialup connection for your upstream? Ha!

Kind of like W3C verifies sites for standards compliance, so should a coalition of "GOOD web designers" (your key words) put their mark of disapproval on sith like Myspace.

If only you could put dialup over WiFi... ahhh...

RE: Yeah...
By ZootyGray on 7/5/2008 3:27:35 PM , Rating: 1
Oh yeh, wave of the future - and it's my ego is bigger than yours - hahaha - and my bigger WIREless ( :) ) proves that I am a real somebody - not to mention I have an antenna sticking out my butt :) Too cool - it's a frikkin radio! O, but I look like Startrek = LMAO.

Those costs for the blackbox are just a case of covering somebody's costs - ok, here's my money to support your stupid biznezz idea - I dunno, man - peeps that have it say it's real good and I should get it too - totally amazing - degeneration disguised as evolution.

Re: = "If only you could put dialup over WiFi... ahhh..."
I am unsure of the tek - but friends use a dialup to dial in to hispeed (weird) - this company called KOS (Kingston onlin servic) (in Ontario Canada) is doing this - they too have a (relatively) small setup fee, but the monthly is quite normal. I found them while desperately seeking a broadband isp - I am simply in dialup only area. And I know I am missing out on the toys - but essential services like bank and gov sites are no problem. Sneaking in the last bid on ebay might be tough.

Governing MySpace would be like restricting the internet - the freedom of the net is perhaps our last hope for humanity - we really need to get those mofos out. And the pornpigs are creating a bad image (possible propaganda?)

My point is about "dialup friendly" (accessible rather than idiot elite). Plus I know that serious web designers follow that as a rule of thumb - like a hi-rez jpeg will be deliberately resized to lo-rez, just a few kb's. Rock bands are the worst, with the homepage being just overloaded with everything everything all going at once - rather than make a quiet homepage with links to other content, thus providing options for users.

greetings :)

RE: Yeah...
By JKflipflop98 on 7/5/2008 9:15:48 PM , Rating: 2
I have no idea what you're jabbering on about, but wireless internet is a good thing. Try it before you knock it, eh?

RE: Yeah...
By Rebel44 on 7/4/2008 6:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
I hope it will be soon.

RE: Yeah...
By DASQ on 7/4/2008 7:06:09 PM , Rating: 3
Hardly an issue, as they can still use dialup while they're waiting for their broadband to kick in.

Seriously not a reasonable excuse. No one is telling them to cut off their by-the-MB 56k service the second they sign up for broadband.

RE: Yeah...
By LorKha on 7/4/2008 5:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
Other means "I don't want myself and I to download files with viruses and watch porn without knowing it."

But because I DO have broadband, I DO download files with viruses and watch porn, knowing it.

RE: Yeah...
By GDstew4 on 7/4/2008 6:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
There probably are people out there who are terrified of an "always on" internet connection. They think that someone is going to get into their computer while they are asleep at night and steal their identity. Or viruses are out there crawling through the internet tubes just waiting for a PC to infect.

My mother-in-law is still using her 450MHz Pentium 3 and Windows 98. She doesn't want to bother with upgrading because she has "better things to spend money on."

RE: Yeah...
By Grabo on 7/5/2008 9:52:31 AM , Rating: 2
My mother-in-law is still using her 450MHz Pentium 3 and Windows 98. She doesn't want to bother with upgrading because she has "better things to spend money on."

She probably does? It all depens on your point of view. If whatever works works, and you're not all that interested in it , then why change? Probably those who cling to dialup have a lot of superstitious arguments for doing so, but they're also likely to think 'if it ain't broke don't attempt to fix it'.

Still. It's hard to see how someone could consider dialup 'not broke', from any point of view. They can be a nightmare to get to work consistently, get to work again; and by the time you see a slightly darker than ultra-white cloud on the horizon your modem is probably already dead.

RE: Yeah...
By mindless1 on 7/6/2008 12:54:03 AM , Rating: 2
Huh? In all the years I had dialup before moving to broadband several years ago, I never had these problems you suppose to any significant degree. It was just painfully slow at a time when the internet was rapidly moving away from being mostly text.

I still keep a modem in one system, just in case I want to send or receive a fax by computer. If for some reason our broadband went down for what was known to be a lengthly period I'd start up a dialup plan without hesitation - that is, if I couldn't think of or wasn't in an area where there were other faster alternatives.

Mainly I think certain types of people just don't get into the whole browse-the-internet habit. It's a big country and lots of people out there just aren't like *US*. I'm just a little surprised that these people would have dialup at all if they didn't see an advantage to broadband at the same price. I think an early poster nailed it, they don't understand what "broadband" is, they are picking what they know versus some unknown thing that they aren't sure they can use - they don't realize broadband is (beyond minor quirks and practices like possibly setting up a router) actually much easier, even transparent in use.

RE: Yeah...
By alcalde on 7/4/2008 6:41:19 PM , Rating: 5
The downside is not getting to hear the modem connect noise anymore.

RE: Yeah...
By FaceMaster on 7/4/2008 6:49:00 PM , Rating: 4
SHUT UP it's a beautiful sound.

RE: Yeah...
By DASQ on 7/4/2008 7:07:26 PM , Rating: 4
Honestly, I kind of miss the sound.

RE: Yeah...
By Chemical Chris on 7/4/2008 7:28:38 PM , Rating: 5
Agreed, in fact, the modem sound is one of the ways I have come to realize that I am getting today just dont know what it sounds like, or know the feeling of picking up the phone to be greeted with 'internet sounds' and the subsequent yelling from the computer room that you disconnected the net (fortunately, I was the older sibling, so I gave the beatdowns when this happened).
Lots of the kids at my parttime job (Im still a student) just give a perplexed look when asked if they recognize the sound, then ask if 56K was a breakfast cereal!
BRB, gotta go chase the kids off the lawn again....

RE: Yeah...
By Joz on 7/4/2008 11:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
this post was worth the gold my rolex is made from.

RE: Yeah...
By masher2 on 7/4/2008 11:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
> "Agreed, in fact, the modem sound is one of the ways I have come to realize that I am getting old..."

I realized I was getting old when I no longer saw any modems with the rubber cups for the phone headset.

RE: Yeah...
By Donkeyshins on 7/7/2008 2:02:14 PM , Rating: 2
Acoustic couplers...god, that brings back memories. Kind of like watching WarGames on TV last week - between the acoustic coupler modem, the TV being used as a monitor via RF converter and the dial pay phone that's hacked via jumpering the mouthpiece to the chassis of the phone I was feeling plenty old.

RE: Yeah...
By gaakf on 7/4/2008 11:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
you get a 6 in my book.

RE: Yeah...
By larson0699 on 7/5/2008 2:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
Old... I'm 22 and recall that sound like it was yesterday.

It was always great to go to a buddy's house and get online just to hear how ZyXel sounded versus my U.S. Robotics.

Toward the end of the tone made by my modem, it sounded like a computerized bell immediately echoing off into the distance, brief silence, then a shorter repeating (OOOOoooo.... OOoo..) and then BAM... Connected at 49333, 50666, 52000, 53333, or sometimes even 54666.

Modem sounds FTW. Don't cha wish digital was hot like me.

RE: Yeah...
By phaxmohdem on 7/6/2008 2:28:59 AM , Rating: 2
Well said. I was also the beatdown giver "back in the day" :) Allow me to shake your hand for that.

eerrrrrnnnnnnn EEEE errrr EEEE errrr SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE er er er blblblblblblbl EEEE!

RE: Yeah...
By PrinceGaz on 7/6/2008 6:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
One way you know you're getting really old is that you miss the sound of loading a computer-game... from audio cassette tape. Ah, the days of waiting five minutes listening (and watching) while a game loaded- you could even tell what type of data it was loading (code, screenshot etc) by how it sounded :)

These days, you don't even get to listen to a hard-drive moving its heads back-and-forth as they're almost silent, the most you get is a drive-activity light flickering a bit.

RE: Yeah...
By DeepBlue1975 on 7/6/2008 8:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
You just made me remember how playing games and loading programs on a cbm 64 was!
I remember having trouble with many programs and the way to make them work was to move the azimuth from the tape recorder with a phillips screwdriver. I did that so often that I ended up totaling my beloved general electric tape drive (that was among those that actually made the loading sound, the original datasettes from cbm were silent, at least the models I do remember).
Loading a 200 block program (with each block around 256 bytes) took more than 5 minutes there!

I remember the envy I felt for a friend who had a fast loader cartridge and a 1571 drive on his cbm 64, felt vertiginous compared to my datasette! :D

RE: Yeah...
By marvdmartian on 7/7/2008 10:50:03 AM , Rating: 2
I remember seeing someone in '81, with (what I believe I remember being) a TRASH80 (for you youngsters, that's a TRS-80, made by Tandy, sold at Radio Shack), loading his games with a cassette player (~30 minutes), playing it, then pretty much losing everything when he'd shut down the computer, since there was no hard drive to save to!

Personally, I learned computer basics on a timeshare connection, with the county's mainframe, via a telephone & modem (dial the telephone, wait for the screech, put the phone handset on the modem and log in). Even guys in their 20's & 30's laugh when I tell them that we had no monitor, just a combination keyboard/dot matrix printer stand. You'd type in each line of code, in BASIC, then have it print out once you were done. Make certain you didn't have a typo on any of your lines of code, then run the program to see if it would work. If it did, great! If not, go back to the drawing board and figure out where your flowchart was messed up.

Mouse? That's why they put down mousetraps! ;)

Insofar as dial-up goes, the only way I can see them getting people off of it, where broadband is offered/preferred, is to make it more expensive than broadband.......WAY more expensive! Otherwise, you'll continue having people like my old friend, Larry, who thinks it's great having NetZero, with it's $10 "high speed" dial-up.......all 28K speed that he gets from it!! **sigh**

RE: Yeah...
By Donkeyshins on 7/7/2008 2:07:23 PM , Rating: 2
Excuse me. I have to go dial into a BBS now. I remember one from when I was in college called 'Techno-Weenie Roast'. Good times.

That and Gopher and Bitnet (none of your fancy Internet tubes here).

RE: Yeah...
By Digimonkey on 7/7/2008 8:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
I always liked buying a new faster dialup modem for both the speed and to hear what kind of sound would emanate from it while it dialed up. I went through a 2400, 14.4, 28.8, 33.6, and 56k modem before switching to broadband. The most calming would of been the 2400, or 14.4 though. 56k's are kind of annoying with their "boings" and what not.

RE: Yeah...
By Omega215D on 7/5/2008 3:58:49 AM , Rating: 2
Here's one for nostalgia sake:

Apparently there are a few versions of it depending on type of modem so this is one that sounds close to mine. After getting broadband I created a WinXP startup sound using this =D.

RE: Yeah...
By Alias1431 on 7/4/2008 11:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
For some people, it's more therapeutic than smoking.

RE: Yeah...
By CyborgTMT on 7/4/2008 11:47:24 PM , Rating: 4
If my mother was polled, that is her response exactly. A few years ago I moved in with her during her recovery after she had cancer. The entire time I lived there I had cable internet. One day I connected her up through the high speed and set her [sarcasm]precious[/sarcasm] AOL to use my connection. For my troubles I received a hour long lecture about why her computer doesn't work anymore because it doesn't make 'the noise' when she goes to AOHell. After spending a few days trying to explain the advantage of the broadband connection, I finally lost the argument and switched her back. 5 years later she sill has AOL and dial-up... but I'm not giving up yet...

RE: Yeah...
By alifbaa on 7/5/2008 12:31:17 AM , Rating: 5
Ha... you said "if my mother was polled."

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

RE: Yeah...
By CyborgTMT on 7/5/2008 1:30:40 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Yeah...
By LivingDedBoy on 7/7/2008 11:53:26 AM , Rating: 2
You could just go find that noise as a .wav file and attach it to the icon.

She'd never know.

RE: Yeah...
By carrotroot on 7/4/2008 10:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
It basically boils down to ignorance and/or laziness.

RE: Yeah...
By Tsuwamono on 7/5/2008 8:16:41 AM , Rating: 2
week or two? My broadband took 1 day for them to hook up. I called on a wednesday afternoon i believe and it was setup by thursday at dinner.

RE: Yeah...
By AlexWade on 7/5/2008 8:29:06 AM , Rating: 2
I know some people who use Netzero, which is cheaper than any high-speed internet service available. They use the internet about once a week. Why do they need to pay for broadband when they barely use the internet?

RE: Yeah...
By SlyNine on 7/5/2008 10:03:44 AM , Rating: 2
They could use the internet even less, Because there would be no waiting.

RE: Yeah...
By mindless1 on 7/6/2008 1:22:06 AM , Rating: 2
That brings back memories. I recall an argument to the wife at the time we were considering broadband, she said I already spent enough time online and I countered that I'd be able to get done what I do on the 'net faster, get done sooner.

What ended up happening instead? I spent nearly the same amount of time

RE: Yeah...
By mindless1 on 7/6/2008 12:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
ok, but getting back to the survey it is asked if they could get broadband, and if it were the same price. Do you feel those who are using Netzero picked it in preference to a faster connection at the same price if there were another alternative they knew about?

RE: Yeah...
By Googer on 7/5/2008 11:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Yeah...
By zolo111 on 7/6/2008 12:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
I think they believe that it's almost impossible for them to get a bradband connection for the same price as dialup.. Or at least they don't spend the time to search for better deals anyhow ( using thier dialup, searching for deals is frustrating I guess..) I helped a friend get comcast service in Seattle for a whole year for $19.99 a month, he couldn't believe it, but after a couple of months he regret getting the service since he doesn't use more than 3% of the extra speed he's getting. He'd rather go back to dialup for $10 a month. Meanwhile I went back to my home country, Saudi Arabia. I'm paying $80 a month for a lousy 1mb/128kb :/

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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