Internet Adoption Flat?

According to Parks Associates’ recent research, written up in this CNET article, Internet adoption is essentially flat in the US. The firm found 64% of US homes had Internet access, up from 62% in 2004. It also made the prediction that adoption would only grow 3% by the end of the decade.

The at-home broadband percentage was 42 and dial-up claimed 22% of US households according to the research.

There are lots of responses. Here are some:

  • In early 2004, Nielsen//NetRatings reported that 75% of US homes had Internet access (who’s right?).
  • Approximately 80% of US workers have access to the Internet at work (Nielsen again). This is where lots of shopping and other non-work related online behavior happens. A 360 degree view of the American Internet audience must consider at-work usage also.
  • The most attractive demographic/income groups have broadband at home (well established)
  • If you segment to look at the attitudes and behaviors of younger consumers, you’ll see quite different attitudes and quite a different relationship to the Internet and technology. Here the Internet is just assumed as a necessary ultility and communication tool.

I would say no traditional media should take comfort from this research. Rather the concern needs to be on the online side and specifically about high-speed access. If it’s not growing than the corresponding revenue models and related consumer behaviors might not grow as quickly. That’s where the issue is.

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