Monday, July 30, 2007

Broadband Adoption on the Rise 2007

Just as the development of the Interstate Highway system transcended its goal of providing efficient and rapid deployment of military resources throughout our vast country during the era of the “Great Red Menace,” the accelerated construction and use of high speed internet connections are also having a major impact on our society apart from merely providing some new technology. Today, the geographic and demographic development of our cities and suburbs can be directly attributed to the construction of super highways. So too, the availability of high speed internet access has changed the way we work, play and communicate. It took the better part of 50 years to complete the Interstate Highway System, the information super highway has take much less time.
Recently a major study by the Pew Foundation Internet & American Life Project, found that nearly half (47%) of all adult Americans now have a high-speed internet connection at home. The percentage of Americans with broadband at home has grown from 42% in early 2006 and 30% in early 2005. Among individuals who use the internet at home, 70% have a high-speed connection while 23% use dialup.
I found it interesting that the study showed strong growth in home broadband adoption from 2006 to 2007, namely:
• African Americans: 40% of now have broadband at home.
• Rural Americans: 31% of those living in rural areas have broadband at home.
• Low income households, that is, adults who report living in households with annual household incomes under $30,000 annually: 30% of those in this group report having broadband at home.
There are several reasons that broadband has taken off. Since colleges and universities where pioneers in establishing high speed networks on campus reaching not only into classrooms and laboratories but into residence halls and dorms, graduating students had little patience with slow dial up connections when they moved off campus. In many cases they were more interested in obtaining broadband than they were in subscribing to cable or satellite TV.
Another growing segment was made up of retired office workers who had robust connections to the internet at work. When they retired they were already very much wedded to using the internet to keep track of family and friends, do banking and investment tracking and other tasks that require high speed access.
In the recent past, hotels and motels hyped their swimming pool or cable TV. They now brag about the free high speed internet connections and WiFi.

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