The study shows that the greatest growth in broadband adoption in the past year has taken place among population subgroups which have below average usage rates. Among them:
Population subgroups that have above-average usage rates saw more modest increases during this time period:
In the current survey, more than twice as many respondents said they had cut back or cancelled a cell phone plan or cable TV service than said the same about their internet service. In the past 12 months:
However, notes the report, given that the survey shows that 85% of adults have cell phone service, it seems likely that cell phone users were economizing on service plans rather than foregoing service altogether.
Prices for home broadband service increased from 2008 to 2009. Home high-speed users who reported more choices of providers paid less than others.
Broadband User Monthly Bills
Average Monthly Bill
Source: PEW Internet & American Life Project, April 2009
Competition impacts broadband cost:
Overall, 55% of broadband users view a high-speed link at home as "very important" to at least one dimension of their lives and community, such as communicating with health care providers and government officials, or gathering and sharing information about the community. Some 84% of home broadband users see their fast connection as "somewhat important" or "very important" in at least one of these five realms listed.
When asked why they do not have the internet or broadband at home, non-users (either dialup subscribers or non-internet users) cite factors related to the internet's relevance, availability, usability and price. A third of dial-up users cite price as a barrier, with the remaining two-thirds citing other factors.
Consolidating the reasons mentioned across the two classes of non-broadband users shows that half of non-internet or dial-up users cite a reason that suggests they question the relevance of connecting to the internet - either at all or with high-speed at home.
Reasons Dial-Up And Non-Internet Users Cite For Not Having Broadband At Home
% Of Dial-Up + Non-Online Users
% Of All Adults
(not interested in getting online + nothing could get me to switch + too busy + other unspecified reasons)
(price must fall + too expensive + no computer)
(difficult + waste of time + too old + physically unable)
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, April 2009 Survey
For additional detail about the report, and access to the PDF file, please visit here.