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 alp689 on 7/5/2008 10:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
I still remember when my mom told me and my sisters we were getting rid of our stupid dial-up and switching to DSL (well, actually we ended up getting cable, but I digress...), we started CHEERING! She was the most awesome person in the world that day, and when we finally got it, we all couldn't help but marvel at how amazingly fast it was, and how we didn't have to wait 1:30 every time for our modem to connect (I think this was in about 2002), or worry about getting booted every time the phone rang (oddly enough, we had two phone lines, the second of which we never used, yet we never switched our dail-up to that line...).

I wonder if most people would at least experience the same kind of shock it was to us the first time we got our connection. I'm not saying it would convince most of these holdouts to switch on the spot, but I'd have to imagine they might at least see the benefits of it, because they really are painfully obvious.

RE: Wow...
By JoshuaBuss on 7/5/2008 12:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
no, i think our family basically had the exact same experience.

our house was in a 'prime location' for testing DSL, and my dad knew some people at the phone company.. needless to say, the idea that we'd be the first in our town to have DSL left us on a proverbial high for weeks

RE: Wow...
By larson0699 on 7/5/2008 2:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
The benefits are only "painfully obvious" to those who care.

Enough people on here have already said it -- some of our folks like things the way they are and consider them "not broken".

The idea that your mother became so awesome the day she upgraded suggests that you need to unplug and get out more. My kind of love is unconditional, and as such, doesn't rely on material amenities for me to come to the realization that my folks are awesome. I am here, which more than suffices.

The fact that you got "booted" every time the phone rang immediately raises the "idiot" flag for your household not having taken advantage of *70 (call waiting) if you really valued your time online. I, for one, hate having to do things over because of interruptions. Either those people can wait or I can get a cell phone (which, in 2002, was a practical choice).

Some are just so spoiled.

RE: Wow...
By mindless1 on 7/6/2008 1:18:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's not the material amenities, it's the thought, it's the doing something for someone else that makes all our lives better.

That's what you do for someone you love, and they recognize it. You've taken the simple awesomeness comment and stretched it way out of proportion.

Is your love really unconditional, is it all someone has to do to have unprotected sex and get pregnant in order to (deserve?) someone else's affections? Isn't unconditional love really a load of nonsense since there is one clear condition already, that you believe some other person to be your parent? Wouldn't it be that if the only factor were that she were YOUR parent, that it is more vanity than love? Isn't it true that the love comes from time spent together in harmony because you both did things for each other?

Awesome is as awesome does. Love without action is baseless. If you feel that way about your parents then they too must've done a few things right with regard to you, even if it wasn't some particular thing like faster internet connection. It could easily have been something else instead but do we go around calling you spoiled because of it?

RE: Wow...
By larson0699 on 7/6/2008 2:31:00 PM , Rating: 3
Talk about taking things out of proportion.. I think it's you who couldn't be farther from the reality of things.

Where I come from (and everywhere I've been, imagine that) someone's deed to another is well appreciated and remembered, but remains just that. It doesn't strengthen love unless it was based on how much you did for me to begin with.

Whether you believe it or not, unconditional love DOES abound among families and close friends alike. The saying goes that you can't choose your parents. But no matter if they've beaten and neglected you and sold you on eBay, the underlying love remains, as in that case I would still do anything to save their asses. They'd probably wonder why I did, but they'd already have the answer deep down, no need to show them the door.

Vanity has nothing to do with any of it. Except for maybe this guy who's excessively proud of his new ISP and mom. Get real. I think he's due a lesson on what's really awesome in life.. such as life itself. If I presented myself online in the way he did, I'd more than expect to be called some names.

You're confusing "love" with "like" anyway. Both are feelings that grow in time, but love is untold, beyond words, a personal connection (getting anywhere? You at least had harmony right, but in the wrong context) while you may like the person more because of what she's done for you. Love is generally not something that you manipulate, but what that person reveals in you, whether you like him/her or not.

Anyway, it's to show the merits in U.L. that some just don't believe in.. You know I won't try to preach to those with heads firmly up asses.

For the record, if I took it upon myself to "do something" for dad and set up broadband at his place, it wouldn't make all our lives better. I'd be scolded for having the audacity to meddle in his business. Sometimes you just let people be and you find that everyone stays happier that way.

Don't tell me about love.

RE: Wow...
By mindless1 on 7/7/08, Rating: 0
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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