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U.S. Internet Adoption to Slow

  |  February 24, 2006   |  Comments

The U.S. population that's not online will likely stay that way, slowing further Web adoption.

The explosive growth of broadband and basic Internet adoption experienced over the past few years is expected to slow to a trickle. The "National Technology Scan (2005) report by Parks Associates finds many Americans without Internet access are uninterested in getting it.

U.S. Households by Internet Access and Subscription Intentions Q4 2005
Click on graphic to view chart
Current saturation means fewer new households plan to subscribe to Web services. The report estimates Internet penetration will increase only incrementally, from 63 percent to 64 percent of U.S. households in 2006.

The number of U.S. homes currently without Web access totals 39 million; only eight million of these have a computer. The survey finds the majority of households with a PC and no Internet say they won't subscribe to Web services at any cost.

Two million offline homes do plan to get Internet access within the year. An additional 300,000 homes will subscribe if an offer for cheaper service becomes available.

"Availability really isn't the issue," said Parks Associates Director of Research John Barrett. "You can get dial-up access anywhere you can get a phone. It also doesn't appear to be on the cost side."

Some homes without Internet access finds other means to access the Web. Fourteen million unwired U.S. households go online from work, a library or an Internet cafe.

U.S. Households That Don't Subscribe to an Internet Service by Reason Q4 2005
Click on graphic to view chart
Lack of interest in Internet access varies from "I have access to the Internet at work" (31 percent); "I am not interested in anything on the Internet" (18 percent); "I'm not sure how to use the Internet" (eight percent); or "other" (39 percent). Four percent say a computer is too expensive to buy.

"Computers that are available now are $100 or $150 for a basic model," said Barrett. "It's hard to say that getting cheaper would make that much of a difference."

The "National Technology Scan (2005) is derived from a nationwide survey of 1,000 U.S. households. It provides a picture of current adoption levels, demand and the size of the total available market.

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Enid Burns

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