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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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?

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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