Broadband and the presence of always-on connections is changing consumer behavior. From making phone calls over the Internet, to buying clothes online and downloading songs for 99 cents a track, the always on lifestyle is finally become pervasive. “People are more able and willing to just walk up to the Internet to get a quick snippet of what they need, send a quick e-mail, read a quick news article, check a sports score,” Jim Bankoff, executive vice president for programming at America Online told the Associated Press. (Ironic, considering that death of dial-up is smacking AOL pretty hard in the face!) Nearly 69% of Broadband users go online every day and stay there for 107 minutes, versus 51% of dial-up users who barely manage 21 minutes, I am guessing mostly to check email.
Family members arguing a point over dinner are more apt, if they have broadband, to “look it up online rather than continue to yell at each other,” said Lee Rainie, Pew’s director. The online convenience changes offline behavior as well. Rainie goes to the office late and leaves early, avoiding rush-hour traffic, because he knows he can make up the hours at home.
I have a feeling, that even more changes are coming. The broadband usage increased nearly 38% in the year ending June 30, 2004, according to data released by FCC. When we have 3G connections in our pocket, our habits are going to change even more. I guess, it is a good reason to look forward to 2005.