Broadband Adoption in the U.S.: Trends, Patterns, Barriers
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Broadband Adoption in the U.S.: Trends, Patterns, Barriers

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Broadband Adoption in the U.S.: Trends, Patterns, Barriers
John B. Horrigan, PhD
Pew Internet and American Life Project

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  • 1. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Wednesday, June 17, 2009
  • 2. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Broadband Adoption in the U.S.: Trends, Patterns, Barriers John B. Horrigan, PhD Pew Internet and American Life Project
  • 3. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Plan
    • Broadband: trends & analysis
    • Barriers to broadband adoption
  • 4. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus The sample
    • 2,253 adults interviewed from March 26 through April 19, 2009
    • 561 cell phone interviews
    • 79% of adults are internet users:
      • 72% of adults have online access at home
  • 5. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus The question
    • “ At home, do you connect to the internet through a dial-up telephone line, or do you have some other type of connection, such as a DSL-enabled phone line, a cable TV modem, a wireless connection, a fiber optic connection such as FIOS or a T-1?”
    • Among home internet users:
      • 9% have dial-up
      • 36% have cable modem
      • 29% have DSL
      • 15% wireless
      • 4% fiber
      • 1% T-1
      • 2% other
    • Total share of high-speed among home internet users:
      • 87%
  • 6. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Trends in broadband adoption at home
  • 7. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Demographics & SES: High growth categories from 2008 to 2009
    • Women:
      • 53% to 63%
    • Older Americans:
      • 50-64 age range: 50% to 61%
      • 65+ age range: 19% to 30%
    • Low income:
      • Household income below $20K  25% to 35%
      • Household income between $20K & $30K  42% to 53%
    • High school graduates:
      • 40% to 52%
    • Rural Americans:
      • 38% to 46%
  • 8. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Demographics & SES: Low or slow growth categories from 2008 to 2009
    • African Americans:
      • 43% to 46%
      • 2 nd consecutive year of tepid growth
    • Low level of educational attainment (non-high school graduates):
      • 28% to 30%
    • Several high-penetration groups:
      • Parents with minor children in household:
        • 69% to 77%
      • 30-49 age range:
        • 69% to 72%
      • College graduates +:
        • 79% to 83%
      • Upper mid-income (HH income over $75K):
        • 84% to 85%
  • 9. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Role of the economy
    • In past 12 months:
      • 9% of internet users have cancelled or cut back internet service
      • 11% of adults have cancelled a landline phone at home to save money
      • 22% of cell users have cancelled or cut back on service
      • 22% of adults have cancelled or cut back cable TV service
  • 10. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Different Service Tiers
  • 11. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus What people report paying per month (average)
  • 12. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Trends in monthly broadband prices (respondents asked to report monthly internet bill to nearest dollar exclusive of other services that may be bundled with internet access)
  • 13. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Choices people have for broadband at home (% as a share of home broadband users)
    • 21% report they have one broadband provider in their area.
      • 30% of rural Americans say this
    • 69% say they have more than one broadband provider in their area. Among these:
      • 29% report having two
      • 39% report having three
      • 24% report having four or more
  • 14. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Choice and prices
    • Average price for those with one broadband provider:
      • $44.70 per month
    • Average price for those with more than one broadband provider:
      • $38.28 per month
    • Average price by number of providers:
      • $42.83 for those reporting two
      • $38.10 for those reporting three
      • $32.10 for those providing four or more
  • 15. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Broadband in the community: How important is high-speed for … 55% of broadband users cite at least one of five items as “very important” to their environment 19% 14% 31% 34% Communicating with health care or medical providers 23 17 31 26 Communicating with government officials 22 20 35 23 Sharing your views with others about key issues 18 17 36 26 Contributing to economic growth 16 15 37 31 Finding out what is going on in your community Not important at all Not too important Somewhat important Very Important Asked of home broadband users
  • 16. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Barriers to Access
  • 17. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus 1% 13% Other 1% 17% It would have to become available where I live 1% 16% Don't know 1% 20% Nothing would get me to switch 2% 32% Price must fall % of all adults % of dial-up users Dial-up users = 7% of all adults What would it take to get you to switch to broadband? (asked of dial-up users) Reasons people do not have broadband at home (2009)
  • 18. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus * 1% Physically unable * 2% Just don’t know how * 2% Too old to learn 1% 4% Waste of time 1% 4% Too busy/no time 1% 5% Don't have computer 1% 6% Don’t know/refused 1% 6% Don’t need it/don’t want it 2% 7% Difficult 2% 10% Too expensive 3% 13% Other reason 3% 16% Can't get access 5% 22% Not interested in getting online % of all adults % of non-users Non-internet users = 21% of all adults What is the MAIN reason you don’t use the internet or email? (asked of non-users)
  • 19. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus 3% 13% Usability (difficult + waste of time + too old + physically unable) 4% 17% Availability 5% 19% Price (price must fall + too expensive + no computer) 13% 50% Relevance (not interested in getting online + nothing could get me to switch + too busy + other unspecified reasons) % of all adults % of dial-up + non-online users Summary of reasons dial-up and non-internet users cite for not having broadband at home
  • 20. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Demographic difference across groups citing various barriers to access
    • Non-broadband or internet users citing price or availability as barrier are:
      • Older: median age is 51
      • Women: 60%
      • African American: 23% vs. 11% in sample
      • Low income: 39% vs. 16% in sample
      • Rural: 33% vs. 19% for the sample
    • Non-broadband or internet users citing relevance or usability as a barrier are:
      • Older still: median age is 63
      • Low income: 32% vs. 16% in sample.
    • All groups have low levels of educational attainment:
      • Three-quarters have no more than high school education
  • 21. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Take away thoughts
    • Broadband adoption is up
      • Especially for older Americans, lower income groups, and in rural areas
      • Prices are up too
      • More choice linked to lower prices
    • Barriers to broadband adoption
      • Non-users most often cite factors relating relevance of the internet to their lives as reasons for non-adoption
      • Price and availability lesser issues
  • 22. Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus Broadband Adoption in the U.S.: Trends, Patterns, Barriers John B. Horrigan, PhD Pew Internet and American Life Project