State of U.S. Broadband: Demand Hits Speed Bumps

21 thoughts on “State of U.S. Broadband: Demand Hits Speed Bumps”

  1. I am a lucky one. I am on the $10 a month Bellsouth 780 broadband until 2010. Reading this article makes me thing someone is a bit ambitious. I would be willing to bet that twice as many people out there would be willing to have a 25% increase for $5 a month. For the brains out there, that would be 75% less increase for 1/2 the price. That would be a better deal for the providers and more people would do it.

    Think about it, times are hard.

  2. Grand central hooks into gizmo5 for absolutely free calls spain 2 usa.
    gtalk hooks into talkster but theres a human habit prooblem. with grandcentral I initiate the call but on talkster my friend MUST CALL ME BACK..which kills the fun of calling.

  3. Hi OPM,

    How have you been? This is your friend from your younger days in India. BB has to take a hit in recession, people under monetary pressure look at it as a frivolous luxury and its usually the first one to be downgraded in average homes. The worse news on BB front is throttling off the bandwidth, kind of makes advertised high speed a gimmick.

    regards
    Arup

  4. I am guessing the rural providers serving farming communities (eg. in Iowa) are not feeling the pinch as much with the run up in commodity prices. There are always pockets of opportunities despite any macro trend / stat.

  5. In comparison, Pew’s report shows that 35 percent of dial-up users want broadband prices to decline further — fat chance of that happening when most carriers are dreaming of tiered Internet plans.

    Again, let’s please try to keep the words “tiered” and “metered” separate.

    “Tiered” – “pay an additional $X per month to increase speed.” This is a common offering with almost all broadband providers.

    “Metered” – “instead of unlimited, pay per minute/hour/GB/whatever, perhaps after a certain point.” This is still very uncommon in broadband, outside of a few examples (such as Cornell’s on-campus network, which charges for transfers from outside Cornell past the first few GB per month.)

    Yes, in some cases there could be tiers for how much is “included” per month with metered broadband, like with wireless minutes. But the significant change is the metering, not the tiering.

    Anyway, these numbers are something that I’ve been pointing out for a long time whenever Om or others talk about the “state of US broadband.” The problem is that most people really don’t want to pay more for their Internet connection, and most people tend to be happy with what they have currently. Dial-up users are happy with dial-up. Broadband users don’t want to pay any more per month for a faster connection.

    What these numbers show is that the state of US broadband is not about availability. Most of those dial-up users could get broadband, even $10-$20/month 768kb broadband, but they don’t. Most of those broadband users could right now pay $10 more per month for double the speed, but they don’t. It just shows the disconnect between Om, me, and other people who post here– we don’t really consider 768kb/s to be broadband, but a huge slice of people are perfectly happy with it and don’t want to change if it costs any money.

    That’s not a recipe for increased broadband investment. It’s not necessarily a call to have the next administration invest in broadband either, unless you’re absolutely sure that a bunch of people don’t know that they’d really like faster broadband, and are wrong about their preferences. (Or, alternatively, you just know that you want faster broadband and you want those other people who don’t care to help pay for it.)

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