Monday, January 26, 2009


Choose only one: Broadband internet or a carbuncle on your neck.

"While the US government is considering spending $6bn to expand broadband access to under-served areas as part of a wider economic stimulus package, a new survey suggests most American high-speed internet holdouts simply aren't interested in broadband," reported el Reg on Friday.

"The study released yesterday by the research firm Pew Internet & American Life Project indicates that the barriers to greater broadband adoption in the US run much deeper than a lack of availability ... For dial-up users, 35 per cent said the price of broadband needs to drop before they'd make the switch," it continued.

"A surprising 19 per cent responded that nothing would make them upgrade to broadband."

It may come as a surprise to readers that DD has never had broadband access. This from someone who ran a virus exchange bulletin board system in the early Nineties.

While broadband access is generally good in my Pasadena locale, it is not the be and end of all things. Naturally, it may seem so if you are a student with laptop sitting at a table eating a cheese steak at Luigi Ortega's on Colorado and the world still seems fresh and inviting.

Having recently helped a computer illiterate friend set up his first PC, here broadband is overpriced a typical American ripoff for what is delivered. I might think differently, though, if my life were lent greater meaning by the daily uploading of music and video to the web. And it must surely be great if you just can't wait to see what hot new YouTube videos have been embedded in every website you'll ever wish to visit (or every piece of e-mail from the Democratic National Committee).

"The largest barrier — and probably the hardest to combat with a government program — is good ol' fashion American apathy and indignation," concluded the Reg piece. "More than half (51 per cent) of respondents just aren't interested in broadband."

Not having broadband is the new cool. Well, probably not, but it was worth running up the flagpole.

The original at el Reg.


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