Late to the Party: How New Broadband Subscribers Compare to Early Adopters
20 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2012
Date Written: September 25, 2011
Using a rich dataset of technology-user experience collected by Connected Nation in 2010 through Random Digit Dial (RDD) telephone interviews with 15,647 respondents across a heterogeneous selection of US jurisdictions, this research project aims to shed light into demographic and usage characteristics across new home broadband adopters and early subscribers. The goal of this research is to inform the policy debate to ensure universal adoption of broadband technologies across all sectors of society. The study concludes that there are measurable differences between new adopters and early adopters in the applications they use, the technology they adopt, and their demographic profile. New home broadband adopters tend to be younger, female, and rural, have lower annual incomes, and are more likely to be African American or Hispanic. This group tends to subscribe to slower average advertised download speeds and engage in fewer activities online, despite paying a comparable subscription costs for their home broadband service as early adopters. They are also more likely to report being influenced by friends and family members to subscribe, rather than subscribing because broadband became available where they lived, they needed to conduct business from home, or they recognized home broadband service’s value. Furthermore, early adopters are more likely to subscribe to cable or DSL, whereas new home broadband adopters are more likely to subscribe to satellite, fixed wireless, or mobile wireless service. This data is consistent with a model of demand saturation where later adopters are more likely to be among demographic groups that have been deemed "vulnerable" to being on the wrong side of the digital divide.
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