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
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
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
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
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.