Feeds

Most Americans without broadband don't want it

Get yer wires off ma yard, Obama!

Top three mobile application threats

While the US government is considering spending $6bn to expand broadband access to under-served areas as part of a wider economic stimulus package, a new survey suggests most American high-speed internet holdouts simply aren't interested in broadband.

The study released yesterday by the research firm Pew Internet & American Life Project indicates that the barriers to greater broadband adoption in the US run much deeper than a lack of availability.

Penned by Pew's Associate Director for Research John Horrigan, the study takes into account separate surveys of both dial-up users and people who go without internet entirely. The 4,245 folks polled were asked for the reasons they don't have a broadband connection at home.

For dial-up users, 35 per cent said the price of broadband needs to drop before they'd make the switch. A surprising 19 per cent responded that nothing would make them upgrade to broadband.

Only 14 per cent cited a lack of availability where they live as the reason for living with dial-up.

For non-internet users, the majority (33 per cent) of respondents said they simply weren't interested in getting online. Only 13 per cent said they don't have internet access at home because it's not available.

Other reasons cited by non-internet users: the internet is too difficult (9 per cent), it's too expensive (9 per cent), it's a waste of time (7 per cent), they're too busy (7 per cent), and they're too old to learn (3 per cent).

Adding both tallies together, Horrigan finds that only 14 per cent don't have broadband at home because of a lack of availability. This certainly would seem to undermine the potential of Obama's broadband stimulus plan.

According to the poll, larger issues keeping Americans away from broadband are cost and difficulty. By the numbers, 18 per cent avoid broadband because of te price, and 17 per cent cited issues of usability (they think it's too difficult, they have a disability, etc.)

The largest barrier — and probably the hardest to combat with a government program — is good ol' fashion American apathy and indignation. More than half (51 per cent) of respondents just aren't interested in broadband.

"To be sure, targeting efforts to address infrastructure gaps and cost barriers could, within a few years, boost broadband adoption by as much as 10 percentage points," Horrigan wrote. "And one-third of existing broadband subscribers are low hanging fruit to adopt faster broadband soon after its available. However, one-in-five Americans currently don't have broadband for reasons that won't be addressed by price cuts or a fiber node in the neighborhood. It will take time to get them up and running on broadband -- probably longer than the impacts of a stimulus package are intended to last."

Of course, the $6bn broadband funding included in the stimulus bill isn't the end-all of Obama's broadband deployment promises. According to whitehouse.gov, the president's plans do include promotion of next-generation internet technologies and addressing its cost. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.