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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 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).


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