As U.S. broadband adoption climbs, so do prices

By on June 18, 2009, 11:27 AM
Broadband adoption in the United States has jumped over the past year, according to a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, which claims 63% of adults in the country now enjoy a permanent Internet connection at home. Thatís quite an improvement compared 55% a year earlier. But while increasing broadband penetration is to be expected, prices appear to have gone up as well.

Survey participants indicate that the average monthly bill for basic broadband services went from $32.80 to $37.10 in the past twelve months, while the average monthly bill for those with speedier broadband plans was about $44.60 in 2009, compared to $38.10 in 2008. Despite the recession and prices returning to 2004 levels, Pew found that people are twice as likely to cut cell phone or cable TV service before they get rid of broadband.

The study also reveals that for 32% of those who do not have broadband Internet access, cost is the main concern; 20% said they would not upgrade anyway; and 17% said that broadband is not available in their area. These latest figures help outline the challenges facing the Obama administration as it determines how to distribute $7 billion in economic stimulus money for expanding broadband access.




User Comments: 6

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polidiotic said:

Yeah, because the first stimulus plans and bailouts worked for the financial and auto sectors, right? The only thing that distributing $7 billion more of the taxpayers money is going to do, is put us further in debt and increase our taxes. The government needs to step back and let the private industry grow at their own pace, like they've been doing for years.

The 17% of Americans that choose to live in the boonies, do so at their own risk. Hell, they have ghetto satellite service if they want it. Even though it's a horrible service, isn't that considered broadband? ;P

Guest said:

Maybe the Amish have it right, why burden yourself with so many distractions?

Battlestar Galactica ended fairly well when they gave up technology...

Do we really need all this technology - Can we stop subscribing to the hype?

Question - ISP stands for Internet Service Provider? But they are not the Internet, right?

What really makes the Internet? Please define that for me...

If my ISP routes my searches and or data packets through independent corporations, colleges and or government agencies shouldn't my taxes compensate for some of the bandwidth I use? Or is it a money grab for any and anyone willing to piggy back on your resold ISP service?

I would like to know...

Guest said:

Oh thank you Dali Bama for raising my taxes to give to those who don't need it. Yeah Communism is great. This is where I say it. I told you so, I told you so, I told you so.

tengeta tengeta said:

We need to get the FCC to drop the "a personal ISP is illegal DMCA violation" stance so there is no need for these stupid middle men. Which brings up the question, what copyright is being violated when you run your own ISP?

All an ISP has ever been is a middle man making money. They use your end, they use the servers end, and they MAY occasionally lay a fiber line or two. The majority of the time they use other peoples and raise your rates so they can rent more lines to "speed up" your connection to the next throttled segment they call amazing. Welcome to AT&T style control of everything, and just like with the phone systems the government has allowed it to happen so they are going to have to intervene to a degree to stop it. As usual though, the government chooses all the wrong areas and reasons to intervene at the absolute worst times possible.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

The only thing that distributing $7 billion more of the taxpayers money is going to do, is put us further in debt and increase our taxes

It just takes several clever people to roll out of the next Facebook, Yelp or Twitter etc... Thousands could be employed and taxes will be paid. 17% of America can finally be persuaded to do some shopping online, hundreds of thousands could digitize their business (Agriculture is huge). Additional millions of Americans will have access to currently inaccessible educational media, online university courses, entertainment (Netflix, Pr0n, Hulu) and much more. It might not make 7 billion dollars by next year, but it will pay for itself over time.

And yes, seven billion is steep, but its honestly penalty money. We could have avoided this step all together if big content providers didn't have government endorsed oligopolies. Cable and Phone companies claim to sell you "premium" content, but it's an imaginary thing... Phone, Internet, TV.. It's all the same s@#4 -- cable and phone companies are digital pipes and should do business accordingly.

It's all bits and bytes. Internet should be cheaper, faster and more accessible. These companies have grown complacent and greedy though; they are too focused on selling you stuff you don't need at high profit margins (TV bundles, VOIP and Internet separately, 10 cent text messages etc...) instead of giving you what you DO need at reasonable prices: infrastructure and byte service.

It either needs to be wild west capitalism or heavily subsidized with lots of government control... The 'in the middle' crap doesn't work. Looks like we're aiming for the latter, by throwing more money at it.

polidiotic said:

It either needs to be wild west capitalism or heavily subsidized with lots of government control... The 'in the middle' crap doesn't work. Looks like we're aiming for the latter, by throwing more money at it.

It never has to be heavily subsidized with lots of government control. If you don't believe that, just look what's happening with GM. Look what happened to British Leyland, and look at the government control of ISPs in Europe. It doesn't work... and if it works, it doesn't work in your favor.

Trust me when I say that the agricultural industry wants nothing to do with government handouts. Obama is already trying to get his fingers in that industry and already has in tobacco.

Regardless, they can still get online to do online shopping, etc if need be - it's just a little slower (remember those days?). Despite that, they're not as reliant on the internet as you might think - not like the rest of the country.

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