Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/02/27/us_net_usage_flatlines/

US stops joining the worldwide web - official

Flatlining in Flatbush

By Andrew Orlowski

Posted in Media, 27th February 2006 18:28 GMT

Internet usage in the US has flatlined, with a third of the country's households stubbornly refusing to sign up. And don't expect any sudden surges of interest - only two per cent of US citizens surveyed by Parks Associates plan to sign up this year.

This leaves 36 per cent of US households without an internet connection at home - and no intention of getting one, either.

More worringly for the get-everyone-connected brigade, only four per cent of this sample cited cost as a reason for continuing to be domestic refuseniks, and only eight per cent said it was because the technology was too difficult to use. 31 per cent said they had a net connection at work, thanks, and so didn't need one at home, while 39 per cent cited other reasons for not signing up.

That's a significant proportion of the sample. Who are these people, and why are they shunning the joys of "web-blogging", Wikipedia and being scammed on eBay?

Are they all pious, medieval fools? Certainly, there are a few stout Americans who blanche at the daily diet of emails labeled "Squirting teens", "HORSE COCK" or solicitations to send their savings to an obscure African bank account, that we take for granted. But even so, that number seems high. The Bible Belt comprises a much lower proportion of the public than 39 per cent.

So are computer networks being shunned not because they're bad, but simply because they're boring?

We haven't a clue, but that's a good guess. Read Parks' own numbers here for yourselves. ®