Digital holdouts just don’t see the Internet as all that valuable

So, if you are in your 50’s, have limited disposable income, find modern gadgetry hard to use and of questionable relevance, what is going to turn you into a home broadband subscriber? Two frequently suggested strategies—reducing prices and improving infrastructure availability—are likely to have limited impacts. Most research on broadband adoption suggests price is not a large factor in the purchasing decision….The passage of time has taken care of a portion of the gap in broadband adoption. The passage of time may well take care of the rest, but the likely time horizon will test the patience of many stakeholders in the broadband debate. To be sure, more competition, lower prices, and greater availability of faster infrastructure will be welcomed by American consumers. By themselves, however, they are not likely to be enough to lure non-online users off the digital sidelines. Pew Internet Project research makes it clear that non-users don’t yet see the benefits of home high-speed access. To reach the underserved, policymakers might consider more aggressive and targeted outreach efforts that educate hard-to-reach populations about the benefits of online connectivity.

Read Why It Will Be Hard to Close the Broadband Divide from the Pew Internet & American Life project. Previously from WNM: Digital Divide evolving from a question of access, to one of social skills

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Digital holdouts just don’t see the Internet as all that valuable

  1. Kari Sommers

    Do you think fiber might be part of the answer… just had a long chat w/ our friend in DC who developed this product… and he’s pretty convinced it’s going to be revolutionary. http://www22.verizon.com/content/consumerfios/

  2. dbling

    Fios would be nice if someone had the quadrillions of dollars that would be required to get fiber into the homes of the everyday consumer. However, much of the United States is still lagging behind in online technology seeing as how we are just now starting to phase out dialup. In contrast, Japan, parts of Sweden, and other places to our direct east are starting to get it right, offering gigabit speeds at the prices most Americans pay for high speed cable. For those not familiar, thats about 10 times faster than the fastest fios offering. A nice idea…yea it looks good on paper. However in its’ application, I think fios is coming along at a time when technology is moving so fast that when the lines for fios are installed, fios 5 could be out.

  3. If the issue is value, then the energy needs to be placed into replacing something that they currently see as valuable in their lives with a new technological replacement, which would be on the internet. Creating parallel options would NOT cause late-adopters to change. Infrastructure alone would NOT be seen as a valid reason for this crowd.

    In the end, the energy needed to make late-adopters change is unproductive. Those energies placed in new products which reshape society are better spent.

    Because technological changes have occurred so fast in our lifetime, we forget the last time a major shift occurred and just how long it took to get everyone on board.

    Horses -> Cars
    No Electricity -> everyone has electricity
    $0.15 home made coffee -> $5.00 Starbucks

    It takes time to get full saturation.

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