New research from Ipsos-Insight indicates that communicating broadband's benefits may be even more important (than price reduction) to reigniting the technology's growth. Many American dial-up users are simply not convinced they need broadband, even if the price fell to half of what it has been so far this year. The survey of dial-up users shows that almost two-thirds of Americans are online, and most of them are still connected via dial-up. Four-in-ten dial-up users said cost was a reason they hadn't yet switched to high-speed Internet access. Another one-third are not convinced they need broadband-at all.
If prices moved down to $20 a month, one-fifth of Americans with dial-up said they would sign up for high-speed (whether DSL or cable). But that still leaves 8 in 10 dial-up users who wouldn't switch, even at the $20 price-point (which is roughly half of what it has been so far in 2003.) Dial-up users don't perceive broadband to represent even a $20-a-month value as yet, or at least so superior to dial-up that it is worth their while to switch.
"The expected slowdown in growth is obviously not just about the price-point being too high," said Jo-Ann Osipow, a Senior Vice-President with Ipsos-Insight. "Dropping the cost of subscribing to broadband will help to convert some dial-up users," she says, "but in both the short - and long - term, successful broadband providers will be those who focus their efforts on the customer-as much as on service attributes like faster speed or new features."
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