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35% of US Internet Still on Dialup

5:24 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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One-third of the country (or 93 million Americans) don't have high-speed Internet access at home, according to a new consumer survey released Tuesday (Feb. 23) by the Federal Communications Commission. The report, Broadband Adoption and Use in America, comes about a month before the Commission is due to release its national broadband plan to speed up broadband access to Americans.

Broadband adoption by African Americans, Hispanics, lower-income households, the disabled and senior citizens, trail the national average. About 59 percent of African Americans have broadband at home, 49 percent of Hispanics, 42 percent of the disabled and 35 percent of senior citizens.


65% of adults are broadband adopters. It then divides users who havenít got broadband into four groups. The Digitally Distant make up 10% of the general population; this is the group that simply doesnít want to be online. The Digital Hopefuls make up 8% of the population; theyíd like to be online but lack resources to do so; many donít have a computer and/or donít know how to use one, and cost of computer and broadband connection is also a big barrier.
8:21 pm on Mar 5, 2010 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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>>Whoops, it's down to 32%


That said, I think it's asymptotic and we don't know where the asymptote is.

In the USA
From 1950 to 1960, television penetration went from 9% to 87%
By 1980, it was 97.9%
In the last 30 years, it's mostly been stuck around 98.2% with some minor fluctuation, probably due to sampling error.

I would say the asymptote has been reached with TV and we're likely to see penetration decline as other media compete.

Meanwhile, in Africa, TV penetration isn't expected to reach 50% until 2015 (though it's already at 90% in Algeria and Egypt and a couple of other countries).

Meanwhile, in the US, cable/satellite subscribers stand at about 90% (2009) and in 2005 it had been growing about 1% per year for several years. So though growth is slow, I don't think the asymptote has been reached, but we're clearly getting there and this is a better analog to the internet than TV penetration (upfront cost versus monthly service cost).

Of course, surveys also show that most people opt out not because of availability or affordability, but lack of interest, which I think is increasingly the case with the internet.

[of course, in my case, I have no TV access by choice and no DSL access at home by constraint]
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