The Pew Internet and American Life Project just released some new numbers on home broadband adoption that dovetail very neatly with our own figures from the Edison/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Series, reported earlier in 2009. Our data (below) revealed that 15% of American residential Internet access continued to be dial-up access, and we speculated when we released this data point that this figure was not likely to change significantly over the next few years.
The new data from Pew shows a bit of a bump in Broadband penetration overall (which, our data suggests, is actually a bump in residential internet access period.) Broadband appears to be somewhat recession-proof, with many consumers choosing to cut back on other areas of their cable or telecom bills rather than cut their broadband access. The interesting bit, to me, is Pew’s snapshot of the reasons why “Dial-up America” won’t be switching to high-speed internet anytime soon:
While 17% of dial-up and offline Americans report that broadband is unavailable in their area (and thus not part of their decision set), 50% of this subset bascially have no interest whatsoever in broadband access, and another 13% report that broadband is either too difficult to use or perhaps even a waste of time. Only 19% quote price; however, at least some of those respondents are actually referring to the price of a home computer, and not specifically broadband. Pew now says that 7% of all Americans use dial-up only at home; given the stats in the figure above, it is hard to see that number declining significantly again unless dial-up access is forcibly pried from America’s fingers.