February 23, 2006 2:18 PM PST

Study: Americans' home Net adoption slowing

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Americans' home adoption of the Internet has stalled, and doesn't appear likely to increase much in the next few years, according to a new research report issued Thursday.

About 64 percent of Americans had some form of Internet access at home in 2005, said Dallas-based Parks Associates. That's up from 62 percent in 2004, the research firm reported, while also predicting that Internet adoption will grow only 3 percentage points by 2009.

"I think (adoption) is slowing down," said John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates. "Part of it is that it's hard to get cheaper on the dial-up side than where prices are already at."

Last year, a study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project concluded that Americans' adoption of broadband was slowing.

The Parks Associates report said that 42 percent of Americans now have some form of broadband access at home, while 22 percent more have dial-up. An additional 13 percent get Internet access only outside of the home--at work or a library, for example--and 23 percent don't use the Internet at all.

pie chart

"There are people out there, as hard as it is to believe, that don't use e-mail," Barrett said. "I guess old habits die hard. It's hard to imagine not using e-mail and not using Google, but there's just a certain demographic where that's the case."

He added that his research suggested that there are large pockets of Americans for whom modern technology means fancy televisions and home entertainment systems and not computers. And thus, he suggested, the only way to convince such people to get online would be to bundle computers and Internet service with televisions.

In any case, Barrett said he was surprised by the fact that a lot of the people contacted for the study who said they did not have Internet access at home were "vague" about their reasoning.

"I anticipated people who would say 'I don't find it useful' or 'I have it at work.' But I was surprised by the number of people who said they didn't have a reason."

He also said 5 percent of those participating in the survey told the researchers that they would never get Internet access at home, regardless of how cheap it was.

See more CNET content tagged:
Parks Associates, adoption, Internet access, Time Warner Inc., broadband


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How about the poor?
When I wrote about this issue a few years ago, the focus was on
the digital divide -- people who can't afford Internet access.
Only about 10 percent of people Pew polled at the time said they
were purposely rejecting home Internet access. It is doubtful
that has changed much.

Some of the people shut out by being low-income have
obviously acquired dial-up Internet access. But, I would think
more of them are still not on the Web because of the cost.

I rarely say a reporter has done a poor job. But, by missing a
major aspect of the topic, C/Net has done an embarrassingly
poor job here.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I reject that argument
I'm a transit driver in a major US city. People board my local
service and will go on forever with excuses about why they don't
have the $1.50 local fare and I let them ride for free, per our
employer's instructions. These same losers will then go to the
back of the bus, pull out a $150 cell phone with $50+ per
month service, and complain loudly into the phone about what a
jerk I am for asking for the fare!
I'm sure there are folks that honestly can't afford $45 per
month for broadband internet service but I'm convinced that not
having this service @ home is matter of choice...like buying that
$50 bus pass at the beginnig of the month or begging a Bus
driver for a ride 50 times per month. Bottom line.... you afford
what you need or want and discard the rest as "too expensive".
Life's about choices and we are judged not only about what
choices we make, but how well we manage those choices. If
there were no more folks who could afford broadband service,
ISP's would be declaring 100% saturation and doubling their
monthly rates.
Is broadband overpriced? You bet! But since the Federal
Government is in bed with ISP's, we have little choice but to pay
the bill.
Posted by gwats1957 (117 comments )
Link Flag
Because they're still waiting for what they already paid for
Fiber to the home. Already bought and paid for.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.newnetworks.com/broadbandscandals.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.newnetworks.com/broadbandscandals.htm</a>
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Americans' broadband use slowing because...
...the idiot monopoly ISP's holding hands with a useless FCC wish us not to have broadband. Your and my administration in DC in its great wisdom supports these criminals' desire to continue to turn us into a less developed nation. Together, these clowns prefer subscribing 40% of Americans at $45.00/month rather than subscribing 95% at $14.95/month. At even $14.95, their cable profitability is immense. At the current $45.00, it's criminal - but only if we Americans make it so.
Posted by i_made_this (302 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Your economic theories....
,,, are abysmally bad. IF the ISP are overcharging so much, park
your open mouth and come up with a cheap alternative. Once you
begin to understand the total expenses involved, your opinions
might become a bit more rational.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
The problem is not cost, its available coverage
A key data point is missing in this article.
It is estimated that only 40% of all homes in the United States have access to Broadband of some kind.
I live in a rural area. We can use dial-up only. There is nothing else.
We will never get cable or dsl as we are too far from a city.
The providers have saturated the available markets and don't have a base of *new* users to pitch to.
Once they can get out to the 60% of homes with no boradband access its certain that the internet adoption numbers will climb.
Posted by FarmerChet (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Would EV-DO Help?
It is possible to use EV-DO to get 500-700 kbps accross most of the US where CDMA wireless service is available.
1. Would this be something that you would be interested in?
2. Would you be willing to pay $30 a month to get it?
I have been trying to work with carriers to prove in a business case to offer such a service and would be interested in your feedback.
Posted by dghess (1 comment )
Link Flag
What about Satelite?
DirecTV offers broadband over their US satelite system for the
lower 48 states right along with network TV coverage if you live
beyond the usable signal range of a major US TV market. A few $$
$ invested and you're online!
Posted by gwats1957 (117 comments )
Link Flag

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