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I am part of the Broadband (cable) stats myself but I'd rather not be.
I know that in theory DSL is better than cable, but I miss my cable modem. I had cable from May 2000 to February 2002, it was never down once. Amazing. I've had DSL since I moved, it's down 2 or 3 times a month.
I use either IE5 (with heightened security settings, no java, no flash, no active scripting, et al) or Lynx as a browser, and make a point of avoiding sites full of scripting, flash animations, etc. If I can't read it in Lynx on my Sparc IPC, I don't want to read it at all... though I will, occasionally, make an exception for .pdf files, but that's it.
Yeah, a faster connection would be nice if I did stuff like download MP3's, or listen to streaming music, but when I mostly read email/news and upload new pages to my sites (and the average page size for all my sites is just over 6Kb), 56K is fine... For a week, after the power supply on my PC failed, I connected to the internet every day as usual using a 286-33 I dug out of a closet as a terminal for the Sparc, and connecting with an external 14.4k modem on the Sparcstation. (No PPP support in the software (telix) on the old 286, or I would have just used that) It wasn't too bad, in Lynx, but I wouldn't necessarily want to do it every day.
<ot>I love sparcstations. :)</ot>
I dont feel that broadband is absolutely necessary, (though it would be "nice"), even for someone like me who is on the Web directly 4 to 6 hours a day. You learn to do multi-task (download emails or files while designing web pages, browse WebmasterWorld while uploading new pages etc) You also learn to turn off images when you into heavy duty browsing, or use text only or light versions of websites like news.google. You learn to not waste time by downloading music files or watch news in audio or video. You learn very little extra from these.
Most importantly when i go back to the office for a few days on broadband I realise im not missing much at all. Basically I have not yet seen a "useful" site (as opposed to a brochure ware, artistic site or sites full of advertising, sktscraper ads etc like MSNBC etc.) that is significantly easier to use and worth the extra money for the connection on broadband.
There are many people like me. There is also a tendency for people on hi speed broadband to assume that all people that matter for their business are also on hi speed connections. So you miss the experience of browsing your site at the speed 95% of the world does. People like me dont complain; we just never visit bulky sites again, hit the back button, and visit the always available low bandwidth alternative sites that are often much better in terms of finding info, and sometimes even looks.
That said, broadband is certainly on the rise in the US, and is almost 100% established in homes and workplaces in Seoul and Tokyo for example, but so also is accessing the Web though mobile devices at very slow speeds. I know of a lot of CEO's and key managers that are using dial up connections on laptops in hotels and increasingly mobile phone and pda connections for 95% of the time. Thats a segment that you dont want to lose.
I know that in theory DSL is better than cable...
I'm thinking more along the lines of fractional T or a Frame. My cable has been anything but reliable. I can tell when school's out because the connection slows to a crawl. All of the kids at home checking email and getting online to play games while waiting for mom to get home and cook supper. Not to mention it's almost a guarentee I'll be disconnected for several hours at least once a month. It's a pain.
Re: speed. With the volume of uploads and downloads I do, the extra few seconds adds up. Ok, maybe I'm just impatient - but I'm willing to pay for it rather than just bitch. ;)
people who want a fat UPLOAD possibility
And yes, I asked for SDSL. Explicitly. They don't sell it, so I must not want it, and is there anything else they can do for me today?
Still, my pages are really light-weight, and when I need real server capacity I'll host outside of the house. As an end user, a fat DSL connection is great - I've got better real connectivity now than I did in college, where about 1.2k people were sharing a T-1 and about 1k of those were running Napster.