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2/3 of Americans Without Broadband Don't Want It

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the if-we-build-it-will-they-come dept.

The Internet 538

Ant writes in with news that won't be welcomed by the incoming US administration as it tries to expand the availability of broadband Internet service. A recent report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project indicates, as noted by Ars Technica, that two-thirds of Americans without broadband don't want it. "...when we look at the overall reasons why Americans don't have broadband, availability isn't the biggest barrier. Neither is price. Those two, combined, only account for one-third of Americans without broadband. Two-thirds simply don't want it. The bigger issue is a lack of perceived value."

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538 comments

Don't want to pay (5, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577023)

Of course they want it. They just don't want to pay scary fees for it.

It's Old Century Ignorance talking. By 2013 this topic won't exist.

Re:Don't want to pay (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577079)

Slashdot readers need broadband so we can get the dupes [slashdot.org] . The rest of the world gives not a damn.

Re:Don't want to pay (5, Interesting)

qortra (591818) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577351)

It doesn't look like a dupe to me. The articles that are linked to this time around concern a broadband stimulus package that the Obama administration is mulling over. They both do seem to be based on the same research though.

Re:Don't want to pay (5, Insightful)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577099)

Um, no they don't. My generation "needs" broadband. A lot of older people,
especially the elderly, have no need or desire for the internet.
I suspect that when I am in my eighties, I will have
much less desire to communicate with the world or check the news on a minute by minute basis.
Just because some of us use the internet on a regular basis, that
doesn't mean that everyone would be better off for it.

Re:Don't want to pay (2, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577233)

ust because some of us use the internet on a regular basis, that doesn't mean that everyone would be better off for it.

Some of us?

Have you tried to apply for a job without the internet lately?

Even my home repair contractor carries around an iPhone.

Of course if you are retired or have guaranteed income, you probably won't need to worry so much though. Just saying...

Re:Don't want to pay (5, Insightful)

Manywele (679470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577259)

The older generation doesn't know they want it. My parents (~70 years old) resisted dumping AOL dial-up until they were more or less pushed into getting broadband. Now both of them have discovered all the high bandwidth stuff on the web that they actually like and want to watch like videos on gardening or quilting. They don't use it much to communicate, they're not on facebook or twitter, they use the internet for finding information they want and now really appreciate the bandwidth. With dial-up finding what they wanted was just too painful so the percieved value was very low.

Re:Don't want to pay (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577549)

"They don't use it much to communicate, they're not on facebook or twitter..."

I consider myself moderately young (or young minded) and I steer clear of facebook or other social networking crap. My friends my age have it, but, I'm too concerned about privacy issues, etc to mess with that. I'm still of the mindset I got from the earlier days of the internet...try to stay anonymous as you can within reason. At the very least, don't go posting pics of yourself half nekkid with friends, sucking a skull bong.

:)

It could come back to haunt you later for a job interview...especially if it is security related.

Re:Don't want to pay (5, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577653)

This is exactly right and can be pushed even further. About 15 or 20 years ago my mother, who is now 85, didn't have a microwave oven and stated flatly that it was because she didn't need or want one even if we told her we'd buy it for her. So we bought her one anyway. Two weeks after she told us she would never use it, she was using it every day for something or other. Lately she has even expressed regret about not taking a basic computer course a number of years ago; now that she realizes how useful it would have been to keep in touch with friends and family. So yes, if people don't realize what they are missing, they won't miss it. Some times this is good, some times this is bad. This could go either way in this case... maybe we'd be better off if instead of watching a youtube video of a person mountain biking, we go out ourselves and get some exercise and talk to real people in person. ;) Now... back to work!

Re:Don't want to pay (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577855)

Well-deserved mod up. I have seen this exact same situation many times over, and each time the only reason they didn't think they wanted the broadband was exactly how parent here describes it.

The worst of it is, in many cases the price difference between their dialup and available broadband is so negligible, it's almost a crime to not upgrade.

Re:Don't want to pay (2, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577485)

"Um, no they don't. My generation "needs" broadband. A lot of older people, especially the elderly, have no need or desire for the internet. "

Actually...not just 'old' people.

I have a friend of mine...he works in the somewhat tech industry. He works with computer applications (CRM stuff, Crystal reports, etc). But, when away from work, he is such a luddite. He still has a broadband connection at home (a leftover from some indie work) BUT, he never uses or checks it for email or whatever. If it were not there at all, he'd not miss it. He does not allow sms txt on his phone (had it shut off). Basically....he only wants to communicate either in person, or in voice over the phone. He apparently barely reads or does email at work beyond what is forced on him by work situations.

Me? I'm a junkie on the internet. I'm a horrible TV junkie...but, I've found that as I've recently moved, I can live much easier without tv than I can without internet connectivity. I may be a bit older, like the old Koreans, I used email for probably 99% of my communications with my other friends. I often carry on real time conversations on email....just never got into IM, and I can IM at work sites (security risk). I'm gonna get a sms text plan on my next phone buy...as that I have started using that more and more too.

But with respect to my friend...I can see where there are a significant number of people that don't want it or need it. They actually might be antagonistic against it somewhat thinking it too impersonal a method of communication.

Re:Don't want to pay (2, Insightful)

jkreuzig (857552) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577689)

Um, no they don't. My generation "needs" broadband. A lot of older people, especially the elderly, have no need or desire for the internet. I suspect that when I am in my eighties, I will have much less desire to communicate with the world or check the news on a minute by minute basis. Just because some of us use the internet on a regular basis, that doesn't mean that everyone would be better off for it.

My anecdotal evidence suggests you are incorrect. My 80 year old father regularly surfs the net via his broadband connection while sitting in his recliner with his laptop (wireless of course). He falls asleep and drops his laptop occasionally, but nothing has died yet. My 74 year old mother sits upstairs and uses email and google talk to communicate with her children and grandchildren.

Some day soon, high speed connectivity will be as normal as electricity is in the developed world.

Re:Don't want to pay (1, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577773)

WELL SAID. A lot of older folks don't need anything better than a web browser. They don't need broadband. And I want to add:

>>>Of course they want it. They just don't want to pay scary fees

Wrong. There are LOTS of us who don't see the point of embracing new technology just because it's there. My 50k dialup connection works just fine. Here are a few other things that "they" have told me I "need" to get, but do not have:

- HDTV - nothing wrong with my standard definition set
- HD Radio - ditto
- LCD for the computer - nope. My CRT is just fine thank ye.
- Laptop? Don't need it.

- Digital cable. No.
- Cellphone with instant messaging and web browsing? Uh huh. My $5 /month Virgin phone is just fine thanks.
- A new car. What for? My old 87 Plymouth and 97 Avenger still work.
- PDA. Pass; the old pen and paper works just fine and it's a lot cheaper (free).
- Broadband

Even if I did upgrade, I'd get the slowest speed - 750k at $15. But I already bittorent tv shows at 50k. I see the latest stuff. Why upgrade? There are some Americans who are never satisfied unless they are constantly buying the next new thing. BUT there are also a lot of us who ARE satisfied and don't need TOYS to make us happy. It's like the Sheryl Crow* song, "I don't have digital. I don't have diddly-squat. It's not getting what you want. It's Wanting what you've got."

*
*(Before you say Sheryl Crow is ____, I encourage you to embrace IDIC.)

Re:Don't want to pay (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577787)

A lot of older people, especially the elderly, have no need or desire for the internet.

I thought the article was specifically about broadband, not just Internet? For example, this part, I really don't get (quote from TFA):

19 percent of dial-up users, for example, say that "nothing" would get them to upgrade, not even lower prices.

I can understand not wanting Internet at all, but if you've got dialup, why wouldn't you want something faster, even if it cost less than your dialup?

I suspect that when I am in my eighties, I will have much less desire to communicate with the world or check the news on a minute by minute basis.

I suspect when I am in my eighties, I will have grandchildren I want to stay in touch with. Just as my grandparents like to use email to stay in touch with me.

Re:Don't want to pay (1, Flamebait)

ricelid (1383657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577111)

Well obviously they wouldn't object to getting it for free, but that doesn't mean that they would be willing to pay anything for it. To anyone who reads slashdot, it must be difficult to imagine not wanting broadband. Maybe it's mostly old people? They'll be gone eventually, and then that statistic will change.

Re: Willing to pay ... small amounts (4, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577253)

Suppose it were only some $12 a month like Dialup is now. They'd like it. For example there's a huge knitting club that meets in our local bookstore. I have heard them talk about downloading knitting patterns. It would take them 12 seconds instead of 38 minutes each.

It's a P-word thing. (Paradigm).

Re: Willing to pay ... small amounts (4, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577861)

First off I looked at the patterns, and they can be download over dialup in just 1-2 minutes. Hardly a long time.

Second: Can someone knit this for my wife? Va-va-voom!

http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer04/images/allusionDET2.jpg [knitty.com]

Don't want the bundle (3, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577307)

I'm not opposed to paying but the problem I have is the bundle.

I get comcast interent but I don't get comcast cable tv. So they CHARGE Me $19 extra. I Could almost get cable tv for close to "free" (just $10 more for both).

Likewise for my mom whose on a fixed income but needs the comforts of phone, TV and the uncomplicated reliability of non-dailup internet, I can't find a scheme that lets me use skype.

for example, if I want to use sky I still need to have a DSL connection which means paying for basic phone service from Qwest (even though with skype we don't need that).

I want her to have a basic pay-as-you go cell phone for safety in her car, but there's no point in paying for that when, give that I'm paying Qwest for a land line, I might was well get their bundled Wireless.

And so it goes.

How come I can't just get ala carte DSL. How come I can't just get cable internet.

that is without the extra fees for not buying the bundle.

anyone know how to just buy DSL without a phone?

Re:Don't want the bundle (1)

Average (648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577545)

You can go to http://qwest.com/dsl [qwest.com] and click on "Internet without Local Phone" on the side. Unfortunately, it looks more expensive ($40 a month) than what we can get in AT&T/SBC regions.

I'm a dire cheapskate (part-timer in a small town). SBC's "DSL Direct" is perfect. $20 a month (no taxes) for 768/384 DSL. $5.50 Skype for unlimited US/Canada and an incoming number. Plus $100 a year in prepaid cellphone (not totally necessary). That's cheaper, all told, than a dialtone and the cheapest $6 dialup service I can find.

Re:Don't want the bundle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577605)

Qwest offers DSL without phone service. Yes, there is a surcharge. In my area it's about $5, quite a bit cheaper than getting local phone service. Also, mediacom offers cable internet without TV. As far as I know there is no extra charge for not getting TV with it but since their bundles have discounts I suppose it amounts to the same thing either way.

Re:Don't want the bundle (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577637)

"I get comcast interent but I don't get comcast cable tv. So they CHARGE Me $19 extra. I Could almost get cable tv for close to "free" (just $10 more for both)."

So, just sign up for their lowest level business connection. You get internet only, and even better...no caps, static IP address, you can run servers...etc.

It is a bit more than the lowest consumer connection, but, worth it for what it sounds like you want....

And nice thing is...they usually can't or won't put a 'trap' on that line or it would interfere with your WAN speeds....which means you can tap onto that same line, and usually get free TV too. I did that, I get all the deluxe tier level analog shows, and with my HDHomerun, and my mythtv box...I can scan and get all the unencrypted HD/digital channels too.

All for the price of an internet connection.

Re:Don't want the bundle (1)

acohen1 (1454445) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577771)

I have a dry-loop Verizon Biz DSL line for my small office. It costs $40 instead of $30 if I still had a voice line, but that saves me quite a bit. Voice lines come with all kinds of taxes and fcc charges.

Re:Don't want the bundle (1)

Beyond Opinion (959609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577779)

I have DSL without phone service through AT&T. It does cost extra, but not much ($20/month instead of $15 for 768kbps. I spend 8 hours a day on a high-speed connection at work, I don't need it when I get home). My wife and I each have a wireless phone, so why pay for a landline? We don't have cable TV, as we don't watch enough TV to make it worthwhile. I had to dig around some on their website to find the price for DSL sans landline, but they do offer it.

Re:Don't want the bundle (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577819)

If you live in the what used to be a BellSouth territory, AT&T has to offer "naked" DSL as a requirement for the FCC letting them merge back with Bell. The phone monkeys may give you the run around about it but be firm & keep asking for managers if you get a moron.

http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/01/02/naked-dsl-from-att-now-available/ [crunchgear.com]

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070618-att-launches-10-dsl-it-hopes-no-one-signs-up-for.html [arstechnica.com]

Re:Don't want to pay (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577531)

Well obviously they wouldn't object to getting it for free

Technically they probably wouldn't object to getting it for free, but that doesn't mean they would use it, even if it was free. Remember there are plenty of people in this country who do not have computers, and do not want computers. You could give them the fastest connection possible and it would not be used because they do not want it anyways.

In short there are people for whom a connection to the internet has no value.

Re:Don't want to pay (4, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577125)

Of course they want it. They just don't want to pay scary fees for it.

Yeah. The key problem with US broad band is the people providing the broadband and not the customers.

I would almost suspect this kind of report would be used by the providers as an excuse not to roll out to rural areas.

Of course, these same companies will quash any rural municipality attempt to create their own network.

No its not. (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577249)

People use the "they are deprived of it" "they deserve it" "its a right" more often than not because they want something themselves.

It is far easier to decry we don't have enough availability when you reference others - you can assuage your guilt that way.

Look, relatives of mine live on a farm. They care about the weather and look up current prices on feed and end products they sell. They have no need of anything but dial up and its done at the dark of the night because that is when they are done outside. To them its a tool. The problem with too many people is they can't tell a tool from entertainment anymore... they cannot tell work from addiction

Honestly I could live just fine without the net and cell phones, I grew up in the age when they weren't being rammed down our throats by everyone who wants to make a buck and that is what this availability is really about - businesses need to get into our wallets and someone decided that this will be the new means of doing so, trouble is we aren't playing along hence we must be ignorant.

yeah, whatever. I have high speed internet, my relatives do not, we are both happy and I would not change them and they would not change me. No ignorance, just acceptance that other people enjoy their lives just the way they are and aren't missing out on anything

Don't want to answer questions (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577621)

Looks like nothing's changed since the campaign:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/17831.html [politico.com]

Re:Don't want to pay (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577651)

Of course they want it. They just don't want to pay scary fees for it.

And why would someone with no computer and no plans to buy one want broadband?

Re:Don't want to pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577661)

The price for high-speed 1Meg bi-directional is to high. I want it at $15.00 LOL.
Moreover, the internet vendors (the phone companies) have gotten used to vendor lockin
for a minimum of one year or more. I like the idea that I can terminate for cause and
poor service at anytime or due to being out of work and can't pay for it, than to be locked
into a one-sided contract with the phone company - which includes internet.

Thus, I don't have dialup or DSL. I get mine from free-wifi sites such as the public library
and numerous eateries. Besides I get to check out the babes at these gormet eateries while I surf!
Besides, the cost is cheap for both of the above.....

Re:Don't want to pay (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577845)

Part of it is the way the question is asked in the survey. If you look at the actual report, it asks straight out why people don't use the Internet, or why they don't have broadband.

Ask people about things a good broadband infrastructure would provide (like on-demand TV and movies), and you'll see very different responses.

Not to worry (-1, Troll)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577069)

The government is going to give it to them anyway.

They got their War, they can have our Broadband :) (2, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577105)

I think the main issue is people don't want to pay for it. They're happy in their cozy little niches and don't want to look to the wider world and notice the USA is falling behind. Head in the sand, and all that. Why pay to keep up with our economic competitors when that money can be used to raise another child?

Perhaps I'm being cynical.

Re:They got their War, they can have our Broadband (3, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577449)

Holy crap people, not everyone *needs* broadband. Watching retarded YouTube videos and other crap isn't an essential part of life. If your only use for the Internet is email and browsing Wikipedia you can get by just fine with dialup. Personally, I'm a bandwidth addict, but my mom couldn't care less. She's happy with email and reading the occasional news story. America isn't going to collapse because these people don't have broadband.

Re:They got their War, they can have our Broadband (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577611)

You're being incredibly cynical and your argument is clouded by your cynicism.

People do not make a conscious decision to spurn world events in favor of having children. People have children and find that the immediateness of their care takes precedence over things like monitoring world economic competition.

That being said people generally are more comfortable hiding from events and paying attention to their niche. If you want to change this than you need to empower people and make them feel like they can really change the way things are going.

I for one have concrete ideas for the shape of this country and how things should run, but it only breeds frustration because they fall on deaf ears.

Re:Not to worry (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577745)

The push to expand broadband is to extend it where it is not available. There are HUGE areas of the country with No choice in the matter.

Not surprising (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577081)

Remember there are still plenty of people in this country who don't own (and don't want to own) a computer or any other type of internet-connected device. They aren't necessarily opposed to computers, they just don't care to own one. I know plenty of people who fit that demographic, and even if you gave them broadband for free they still wouldn't be interested.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577601)

And then there are those who don't want a computer because its the devil. Bible says nothing about interwebs, why would they want the devil in their homes? Jesus didn't magically create this earth 200 years ago so we could go playing God by talking to people on the other side of it.

Re:Not surprising (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577757)

and even if you gave them broadband for free they still wouldn't be interested.

Until they find the porn.

I find it hard to believe (1, Interesting)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577083)

I know I wanted broadband when I didn't have it. Now I live across town where I have it.

Those who don't want it probably have no clue what the difference is, or don't have internet anyway and simply don't care about it.

Re:I find it hard to believe (0, Redundant)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577353)

Or maybe it is just not that important to them? Not everyone spends most of their time online. Some people really only use their computer once in a while and do not see a point in paying more than $10/mo. for something they use for maybe 30 minutes per day.

Re:I find it hard to believe (1)

acohen1 (1454445) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577849)

I would pay $10 a month to go from my online tasks taking 30 min/day to 5min. Thats 12.5 hours a month, certainly worth $10.

THEY dont want it. and also, they dont want it YET (2, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577091)

first, it is sure that their children will want it. leave that aside, in every country governments and corporations are moving most of the services online. even news, media too. there will come a time when broadband internet connectivity will be a necessity for many things. better to make preparations for the day to come than sit back and relax.

Who doesn't want broadband? (3, Insightful)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577097)

Who doesn't want broadband? Old people, that's who.

They don't want the Internet. They want to knit and watch the Price is Right. Who are we to condemn them for that?

Some people on this site make an awful lot of noise about not watching TV. What's wrong with that? It's all about personal choice.

Re:Who doesn't want broadband? (3, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577175)

Actually I've got it and am thinking about getting rid of it because it has become as big a time waster as the tube. (And I say this as an IT pro for the past 22 years.) I'm getting more interested in living life than observing life on machines which seems to be the case more and more. For example (and forgive me for saying the next three words but) in my day we aspired to be Guitar Heroes. Now, everysome seems to be content playing the game! Luddite out!

Re:Who doesn't want broadband? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577345)

Nah, you don't want to get rid of it either. You probably want broadband enabled context info in a private earphone like the bluetooth cell guys use. It just isn't here yet.

Go observe nature. Then let it warn you of the cliff ahead.

Re:Who doesn't want broadband? (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577427)

What I'd be happy with is Lynx on dialup. I'm more text than visual oriented and while all the bells & whistles are fun (for about 5 minutes) I think I'd be content to peel away all the protection - like A/V software, adblockers, etc. that we have to use to take advantage of broadband. The Intertubes are so bloated the core information that I'm usually looking for is too often obscured. But then again I am a cynic!

Re:Who doesn't want broadband? (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577205)

Who doesn't want broadband? Old people, that's who.

Nope. That hasn't been my experience. Many old folks have discovered that the internet allows them to keep in touch with their families. Since folks no longer stick around where they were born and instead move all over the place, the internet is a great way to keep in touch and with broadband, they can have tele -visits and things like that. Also, with the internet, it can be easier to contact a family member. Many folks don't like talking on the phone for hours with their Mother; whereas, email and whatnot make it less painful. And the old folks LOVE getting pictures via email of their grand kids.

Re:Who doesn't want broadband? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577399)

Skies alive Yes.

Families with a Tradition of Detail "dominate the channel". It's tough to listen to. Let them type it and email the first round.

I got my mother to start doing this and I love getting 2 page emails. I was exhausted listening for 38 minute stretches.

The country needs broadband. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577223)

Old people cannot be allowed to stand in the way of progress just because they don't like the new ideas. We need to cut costs, and doing things over a network is a great way to cut costs.

Once broadband becomes a requirement for the free hand-out health car the oldsters get, you'll see them demanding it.

I didn't want the war foisted upon us by lying politicians and the gullible and cowardly older generation, but here it is. Guess what, 'greatest generation', now we want to spend tax money on something that is GOOD for the nation.

Re:Who doesn't want broadband? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577297)

Seem my post above. Mentioned to you for convenience so you see it in tracking. The knitters are online now too.

Maybe they just really don't want it. (2, Insightful)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577123)

I don't want internet service on my cellphone.
EVEN IF IT WAS FREE, I wouldn't want it.
In fact, the only 3 things I want on my cellphone, is voice calling, voice mail, and text services.

I know some people who even consider that to be too much.

So if 2/3 of americans don't want broadband service, maybe we should just leave them alone and stop pressuring them to get broadband service?

Re:Maybe they just really don't want it. (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577237)

Count me out of text services. All I get there is "where ru" and spam.

ok (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577157)

http://www.dvdripz.net

Most Americans didn't want the TARP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577165)

But they got it.

My father... (5, Interesting)

michrech (468134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577169)

...was in the "Two-thirds simply don't want it. The bigger issue is a lack of perceived value" camp until he started receiving many rather large pictures and short home movies (usually taken from a digital camera) of his grand kids. He was also attempting to upload pictures he'd taken to the family Gallery (it runs Gallery [menalto.com] ), but it took so long to do (he has a 7+ MP camera, so the pictures were rather large). After finally biting the bullet and getting *the cheapest* "broadband" he could find (I think it was 128k down / 64k up), within a couple weeks he had upgraded to a mid-level broadband package (somewhere around 1.5mb down/256(or more) up) and was finding himself doing so much more with it. I personally believe the final straw that made him actually upgrade his package was the ability to see/talk to his middle son (one of my two younger brothers) while he was/is deployed in Iraq (on his third tour now, I believe).

There are some people that just aren't going to want it, no matter what you show them can be done with it, but I think a large percentage of those 2/3 that "don't perceive the value" simply haven't had anyone explain/show them what value they could be getting.

"Paw.... (1, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577419)

broadband's back. Want I should fetch the shotgun?"

Re:"Paw.... (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577579)

broadband's back. Want I should fetch the shotgun?"

Shotgun modems aren't broad band and never were.

Who NEEDS it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577195)

Ok, honestly, who really needs it?...
The real _legal_ use of broadband is very limited.


P2P for all!!!

Re:Who NEEDS it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577281)

True, true. Show me someone using a 6mb+ connection to its potential, and I'll show you a person using P2P or Torrents. Not that there isn't a legit use for those services, but c'mon, most of it is for "distribution of copyrighted works sans royalty."

Re:Who NEEDS it? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577423)

Logging ito Gmail or Yahoo mail faster. The free mail guys like serving ads.

Availability Still an Issue (1)

StarWreck (695075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577209)

My Uncle living in Iowa has wanted to get broadband for years. He lives on a farm just outside a town with a population of about 300. The town just lost their only gas-station (damaged in a flood and the owners decided it wasn't worth fixing) and I don't believe the town has broadband available either. So, he's stuck with dial-up for probably a while.

My grandparents in Nebraska live in another small town, they have high speed internet available in their area via WiFi with REALLY big antennas.

and they would be 100% correct (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577211)

if you are grandma and all you are doing is checking your email and looing at cnn.com, you don't need anything above 56kbps

the problem is, grandma is missing out on future services, the march of progress

youtube straddles this issue: its not exactly impossible over 56kbps, but obviously video services are changing and evolving, and you need a larger pipe for that. and youtube is already a service grandma wants and needs, and grandma appreciates

Re:and they would be 100% correct (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577561)

looing at cnn.com,

I mean, I know CNN is bad, but pooping on it? I think that is a bit much.

Obviously something's weird... (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577217)

The bigger issue is a lack of perceived value. 19 percent of dial-up users, for example, say that "nothing" would get them to upgrade, not even lower prices.

So you can have a worse product that costs more, or a cheaper product that works better. And you want the crap?

There's something strange going on. Either 19% of dial-up users are morons, or... well, I don't know. What might be a reasonable argument for not wanting better-and-cheaper?

Re:Obviously something's weird... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577409)

A lot of people polled are probably thinking of the children.

Broadband is like opening the gates of hell for your children. Satan will poison their minds with pornography, stolen emo music, and terrorist videos. They will gather on myspace and renounce first their parents, and then Jesus our Lord and Savior. The devil's special brand of evil permeates the airwaves through your wireless router, and will turn you children against you, filling their minds with lust, anger, and hate.

Just like puberty.

Porn (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577539)

No, no, no, you've got it wrong. They just don't know about all the free porn they can get with broadband. No more lurking outside Bobbi Sue's trailer tonight!

Re:Obviously something's weird... (1)

KendyForTheState (686496) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577569)

The bigger issue is a lack of perceived value. 19 percent of dial-up users, for example, say that "nothing" would get them to upgrade, not even lower prices.

So you can have a worse product that costs more, or a cheaper product that works better. And you want the crap?

There's something strange going on. Either 19% of dial-up users are morons, or... well, I don't know. What might be a reasonable argument for not wanting better-and-cheaper?

I doubt they are saying that broadband would cost less than dial-up, simply that lowering the price of the broadband service would not in itself be an incentive to switch. I'm sure that if it was taken further and spelled out that broadband would be cheaper than dial-up they would be happy to switch. They'd be crazy not to.

Logical. (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577225)

I remember back when we had lie 8 channels on TV and that was with Cable. If you had all three networks and PBS what else did you need?
Then I heard about people in NY that had like 100 channels. A lot of people just don't see why they need broadband.
Netflix? They watch Movies on TV they don't watch them on their computer.
Download music? Adults just don't buy that much music. I bought my step dad an MP3 player. It was too hard for him to rip the CDs. He uses the internet to send email. He still uses the weather channel for weather and he has a minor in meteorology. I want internet everywhere and always and super fast.
I think that it will just take time and devices that are not PC to get everybody on line.

Breaking News!!! (1)

Doc, the Weasel (827155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577227)

This just in!

People who want broadband, end up having it.

People who don't want broadband, end up not having it.

More on this as it develops...

Re:Breaking News!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577385)

Another news flash:

Most people who don't go to college didn't want to go. But we still give out scholarships to people! Crazy!!!

Who's precieved value? (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577263)

Just because your into something i.e. gerbiling doesn't mean the rest of us are. If people don't want a service or product why should it be an issue to anyone but the supplier?

Re:Who's precieved value? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577739)

Exactly. The article's summary (and maybe the article, how should *I* know?!) made it sound like "perceived value" is a nice way of saying "they are ignorant morons and don't know what's good for them." I know plenty of people, especially older but not necessarily over 50, that barely touch a computer and lead completely full and satisfied lives. Who am I to say they SHOULD perceive value in something? If they're happy without it, who cares?

The idea that they are missing something and *I* know what it is is a very arrogant and elitist way to think about it. Maybe you can argue it or something, but talking about it as if there was no argument is ridiculous.

Furthermore, the idea that broadband and technology makes people happier, more fulfilled, more satisfied, and have a higher quality/value of life is silly. I have seen those "morons" who barely use a computer and just got a cell phone, who take life quietly and slowly, enjoying it, enjoying people, and enjoying simple pleasures like good food, friends, and nature... and I've seen those people with "correct perceived value of broadband" that walk around talking into the air (bluetooth headsets), never have a moment to spare, can't even order coffee at Starbucks without being on the phone, are lost without their e-mail, scatterbrained, don't even really LIKE coffee but just spend $5 at starbucks because it's what people do today, etc.

People need to get their head out of technology once in a while and remember that life != computers, humans != computers, and coffee != starbucks ;) :)

Sure... That's what they think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577265)

I bet that number would change greatly they they just tried it. Also, if everyone could have it for free. Certainly not everyone would want it but I can guarantee that it would be a hell of a lot more than 1/3rd.

And to think, I just ordered my second broadband connection today.

It's not a rational decision (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577269)

The people I know who don't want internet are all older folks who are very set in their ways. They don't want to do anything new and that includes the internet. They don't really know what the internet is and they don't want to know. You could give them free broadband and a free computer and they still wouldn't use it.

Re:It's not a rational decision (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577777)

How is that "not rational?" What if they're happy the way they are? It is more irrational to pretend that you or I know what they "need" in their lives. Maybe we know what we "need" (doubtful, most of the time) but we don't know what they "need."

If they're happy without technological woes, computer trouble, viruses, spam, facebook, myspace, arguing about Linux vs. Windows vs. Apple, and other easy wastes of time, who is to say they are leading inferior lifestyles or "missing out?"

I've cancelled broadband (2, Interesting)

maynard (3337) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577273)

I now just make do with my iPhone and a fat connection at work. I first canceled Comcast because their prices are simply too high. They were charging me $180/mo for HD television and Internet. To cut out the television would have still been almost $70/mo.

RCN, a competitor in my town, offered Internet service only for $35/mo, so I tried them. They simply made up stuff to charge me with. No television? Well, you have television service now! Pay up. Call them and have it turned off? Sure ... only to have it turned back on again, with yet more bills for service I never ordered. I finally canceled, only to be forced to call the MA Department of Public Utilities to force the company to stop sending me bills for a service that was now canceled. Getting service through the phone tree was impossible. I really had to go to my state regulator.

Verizon: DSL service. Great. Except that it would regularly die for days on end. And Verizon could not be bothered to actually FIX the service they were charging me for. After over a week of downtime, I canceled. They're still sending me bills for service I canceled months ago. I'm currently dealing with the state regulator over their bullshit too.

I'm done with giving these assholes my money.

Let's hope the new administration sets a new regulator tone. Because the last administration let those guys fuck their customers over good and hard.

Shockign News (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577275)

Most of group X are fine with being in group X, do not want to move to group Y.

Re:Shockign News (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577697)

Well, they've just got to come Arabian, ididoths.

a problem of credibility (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577289)

pfft, if the "Pew Internet & American Life Project" knew anything about the Internet it would be called the "Pewpewpew Internet & American Life Project"

1975 just called (4, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577299)

And they don't really want any personal computers, they just don't see what good they are.

Right after that, 2030 sent an e-mail, which read "rofl no broadband? can u still even watch tv without it in ur time?"

The good news is that 55% are now on Broadband (1)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577327)

Here's the report on broadband [pewinternet.org] . %55 percent are on broadband, and 10% are on dial-up. Also noted:

Non-internet users represent a large pool of potential broadband users, but many are just not interested in getting online.

So for many,it's not an disdain for a fast connection, but just a lack of internet in general for the internet.

demographic versus coverage (3, Insightful)

pikine (771084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577333)

Do you guys seriously think that some Asian country that touts 90% coverage means 90% of residents access the Internet through broadband? Surely, they also have more than 10% old grandparents who don't use computers. Their "coverage" is defined as "if they wanted to, they could get it" as opposed to the actual subscription rate. It's just a different definition of coverage, in terms of which I think the US has a pretty good coverage already (although it could always be cheaper and faster).

Bad article (5, Insightful)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577377)

The arstechnica article and the Slashdot summary do not make it clear that the 2/3 figure includes people who don't use the Internet at all. For dial-up users, price/availability accounts for about 1/2 of the people who don't have broadband.

You're always going to have people who don't adopt a new technology. These people shouldn't be used to not improve the technology for the rest of us.

Well (3, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577397)

We will all be, eventually, old people. And we wont want to pay for, nor we will be interested in, that crappy holistic multiversic quantinet our kids will happily plug in their brains.

I say leave the elders alone and let them buy their paper and sit at the diner and chat amongst friends over a cup of joe.

The net, contrary to all that idiocy, does not automatically make you or anyone smarter, better or more productive. Hey, Ive seen pretty good arguments -Giovanni Sartori- that point in the other direction for some cases, and what I see being done to language in SMS messages by youngsters makes me want to send them all to linguistic concentration camps.

Why this strange neurosis on trying to get everyone to facebook their ass?

I dont really get social networks actually, I think they are the worst to ever happen to privacy and will eventually cost us individual freedom.

Now youtube is another story. I like that one and their pr0n equivalents (better).

So there: people that dont want broadband perhaps like real life better and im not sure thats bad at all.

An Anecdote (1)

the phantom (107624) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577415)

With the caveat that the plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data, my own experience with my family has been as follows. Several years ago, my parents lived in a rural-ish community in northern Nevada (Elko, to be exact -- a mining and ranching community of some 30-40 thousand people). Because television reception was pretty good (they got all of the major networks over the air, and in some cases got the same network from two different cities), they didn't bother with cable. Thus, their only internet option was dial up. So, they signed up for some local dial up service that cost a few bucks a month.

About three years ago, they moved to an even smaller community in northern Arizona (Holbrook, less than 10,000 people). At this point, they decided to get cable (for about the first time in their lives), but, because they had free long distance, decided to keep paying for dial up service out of Elko. My father had high speed access at the community college where he taught, and my mother didn't think she cared. However, phone service in their part of town seems to be somewhat unreliable, so last summer, my mother finally caved, and added internet service to their cable plan. My mother was shocked at how much she liked the higher speed access. Suddenly, she could send large attachments via email, and it didn't take forever and a day to load any random webpage. Now there is no way that she would ever go back.

Thus, in at least one instance, someone didn't want broadband access, but, when given such access, found it vital. I would imagine that there is a significant portion of people who currently use dial up and claim that they don't want broadband access who really have no idea what they are missing, and, if they were to upgrade from their current service, would never want to go back.

However, 1/3 do want it (5, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577439)

and what percentage of the other 2/3 simply don't know what they are missing? It's like asking the population of 1930s America if they wanted highways - many probably wouldn't have seen the need for it. Many didn't have one in their area (PA turnpike and a few others around). Eisenhower, as a young officer, took part of a cross country convoy, to assess national roads, around the early 1920s IIRC, and it took them nearly 50 days to get coast to coast, that with seeing the German Autobahn in action up close is what lead him to spearhead the interstate system as President.

Infrastructure is almost always good and pays off, like the Hoover Dam + others Depression era projects are still serving us well today. But it's really tough for people with little experience with it to imagine the uses for it. They've been confined to stuff like dial-up for so long, that the concept of the internet as a medium for only text emails, sprinkled with a few static pictures and the like is hard to break for good reason.

Re:However, 1/3 do want it (1, Interesting)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577709)

I always find it amazing that whenever anyone is asked to give an example of a "great" government project they always mention the interstate highways... while 99.9999% of those same people usually bemoan SUV's, "evil" suburban communities, CO2 emissions from cars, the decay of inner cities, and the lack of railroads. Then they launch into a tirade about how all the bad things come entirely from the free market and how we need the government to intervene to fix all those problems that the free market created.... and so the circle goes.

Re:However, 1/3 do want it (1)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577719)

This 2/3 number would not be a problem if they all lived in clumps. Then, the cables, DSL's and magicnet's simply wouldn't run their services. But, with the wanters and the eschewers interspersed, the marketing arm of a provider might say "Gee, why should we string into that area if only 33% want it?"

...And so the 33% suffer. Too bad, because if the providers could provide to 200% more users, they could lower the cost to all.

=)) :)) *pop back to reality* Sorry... heh heh, I kill me.

Re:However, 1/3 do want it (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577877)

It's like asking the population of 1930s America if they wanted highways

Interesting point. I wonder if there is any information available about how many people wanted running water back when that was a new thing, and how many people said, "Nah, I'll stick with my outhouse. It's fine." How many people said, "I don't need electricity. I get by with my lamps."

Too bad they probably didn't do lots of polling back then, and just said, "We're going to do this." We might have a much simpler life.

That is a sad statistic (3, Insightful)

Raven737 (1084619) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577461)

most other countries have a higher broadband adoption ratio with better speeds
and lower prices, so if the majority of the people living in the US without
broadband don't want cheaper/better performing internet then something must
be really really wrong.

I would be guessing the lack of competition, throttling, being treated like dirt
and then spending a (comparatively) huge amount of money for the privilege
has probably scared those people off.

I'm thinking of getting rid of mine. (2, Interesting)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577473)

The internet can be a great research tool - when you filter out the billions of pages of shit out there.

It can be a great communications tool - when you filter out the trillions of shit messages.

It a great source for news without having to listen to the overpaid talking heads - after you filter out the millions of lies, half-truths, agendas, and propaganda.

And the internet a is a great way to suck away valuable time on shit. For example, online message boards. This thread will offer me absolutely nothing to enrich my life, but here I am. I should do something a little more productive with my time.

Broadband can be addicting. With it, you can more bandwidth hogging content which, for the most part, is crap. Again, here I am.

I think the people who don't want it are wise enough to know that it is not right for them or for their families.

My father didn't want it. (4, Informative)

snarfies (115214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577523)

My father is in his 60s, and lives on a farm in rural PA. When I was growing up he had zero interest in computers. He didn't even want one until he found out, maybe 5 years ago now, that he could contact his old army buddies on it. At the time, broadband wasn't available in his area, but I set him up with a computer with a modem, and he messed with it and tinkered with it, and, indeed, completely screwed it up a few time, but he did learn how to use it moderately well.

Maybe 2 years ago they finally get DSL in his area. He didn't want it. Zero interest. He already had his modem and could contact his army buddies, and that was fine. But whenever he needed to download Windows patches it took literally overnight. He had sort of set into using the internet in certain ways, and he was satisfied.

That was until he stayed with me in the city, where I have Comcast, and he got to use the internet in completely new ways. THEN he wanted, and now uses, DSL. He looks at Youtube. He uses Utorrent. He is glad he made the switch.

tldr; People don't want to switch because they don't actually know what they are missing.

New marketing strategy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577529)

I wonder what would happen if we were to show these people the values of the internet. Anything and everything in their lifestyle that would benefit from instant access to pretty much ANY information needed.

And of course, porn.

Larry Flint saves the day.

Broadband isn't worth it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577547)

...since all you can do with it is read Slashdot all day anyway.

I'd love faster broad band.. (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577577)

But there are those who could care less about computers, internet, and god knows what else. If they made the internet a public utility like phones and things it might pick up but they'd still need a device to connect.

It would be interesting if down the road the internet does become a public utility and they actually issue internet devices like phone companies provided phones. The netbook market would be huge for this.

Need it, got it, want it. (1)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577679)

If you have it you don't need it. If you need it, you don't have it. If you have it, you need more of it. If you have more of it, you don't need less of it. You need it to get it. And you certainly need it to get more of it. But if you don't already have any of it to begin with, you can't get any of it to get started, which means you really have no idea how to get it in the first place, do you? You can share it, sure. You can even stockpile it if you like. But you can't fake it. Wanting it. Needing it. Wishing for it. The point is, if you've never had any of it, ever, people just seem to know.

2/3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577681)

how much of the 2/3 do not use the internet at all?

let's just assume 1/3 of all americans do not use the internet. that would mean that 1/2 of all internet users want broadband. statistics can be warped into saying whatever the creator wants.

i am one of the underserved who can not get broadband (neither cable or DSL) and i want to see change.

(I always post anonymously from work)

My Parents are Frugal (3, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577687)

My parents are European immigrants, my mum was born in 1939, just before the start of the war, my dad in 1941, during the war.

They both grew up with post-war shortages, and as a result they're naturally frugal. My dad uses the internet for email, forums and light web surfing, all on dial-up. Why? Because it's cheaper.

Here in Vancouver, dial up is about $10 per month, broadband is about $30 per month. To my dad's thinking, that's an extra $240 per year that he'd rather have in his pocket. If he needs broadband for something like Google earth he just strolls down to the library and surfs for free. He's retired, after all.

Perceived value is a proxy for price (3, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577765)

I have broadband (of sorts). My city provides free WiFi. Its good enough for my uses (downloading/uploading large documents and VoIP for long distance). I have a POTS line with the lowest price possible. No long distance (that's what VoIP and/or my cell phone are for). The phone line is for emergencies and as a back-up to the WiFi. I have rabbit ears for my TV sets The digital reception is great and the quality much better than what cable or satellite offers. Besides, I don't need more than a dozen channels.

Both my cable company (Comcast) and my phone company (Verizon FiOS) offer '3 in one' packages of TV/phone/broadband. But the added value just doesn't compute. The additional broadband speeds would be nice, but I don't need TV with 500 channels and phone with big feature packages. So, I figure the broadband would be economical at a price point of about $25/month. But that's not available from either provider. Worse yet, you can't get FiOS broadband only and keep your basic phone service. Verizon insists on moving its FiOS customers to the unregulated system.

So, I'm one of those 'statistics'. Its a lack of value, but if there was a suitable price, I'd buy it.

I know who is behind the 2/3s not wanting it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577813)

Mark Goldston

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