BT Technology Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 103–114 | Cite as

Domesticating Broadband — What Consumers Really Do with Flat-Rate, Always-On and Fast Internet Access

  • B Anderson
  • C Gale
  • M L R Jones
  • A McWilliam


This paper reports analysis of a range of survey, interview and usage-log data on the level of use of broadband Internet by households in the UK and Europe. It discusses the (few) discernable differences between PSTN and broadband Internet users in mid 2001. The analysis suggests that, while there are few socio-economic and demographic differences, broadband users tend to use a wider range of applications, access them more frequently and for longer. However, because most broadband users have been, on average, users of the Internet for longer than PSTN users, these effects may be to do with their Internet competencies rather than the nature of broadband Internet itself. The paper also suggests that the interaction of speed, flat rate and ‘always-on' is a key feature of broadband and a key value model to the user. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the usage patterns of these early adopters for current and future portal, application and service investment strategy.


Information System Communication Network User Interface Multimedia Information Internet Access 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Silverstone R, Hirsch E and Morley D: ‘Information and Communication Technologies and the Moral Economy of the Household’, in Silverstone R and Hirsch E (Eds): ‘Consuming Technologies’, Routledge, London (1992).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anderson B and Tracey K: ‘Digital Living: The Impact (or otherwise) of the Internet on Everyday Life’, in Wellman B and Haythornwaite C (Eds): ‘Special issue on The Internet in Everyday Life’, American Behavioral Scientist, 45, No 3, pp 456–475 (November 2001).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Eurescom – Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mante-Meijer E, Haddon L, Concejero P, Klamer L, Heres J, Ling R, Thomas F, Smoreda Z and Vrieling I: ‘ICT Uses in Everyday Life: Checking it out with the people’, ICT markets and users in Europe, Confidential EURESCOM P903 Project Report, EDIN 0161–0903 (2001).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    'Broadband Blues’, The Economist, p 62 (23 June 2001).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rogers E: ‘The Diffusion of Innovations’, The Free Press, New York (1995).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hoag A: ‘Speed and the Internet: The effects of high speed access on household usage’, Presented at the 25th Annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, Alexandria, Virginia (September 1997).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hoag A: ‘Measuring usage and satisfaction: cable modems and the Internet’, D-Lib Magazine (March 1998).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wired (June 1999) – Scholar
  10. 10.
    McClard A and Somers P: ‘Unleashed: Web tablet integration into the home’, Proc of the CHI2000 conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp 1–8, ACM Press, New York (2000).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Robinson J and Godbey G: ‘Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use their Time’, Pennsylvania State Press, University Park (1997).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Finn K, Sellen A and Wilbur S: ‘Video-Mediated Communication (Computers, Cognition, and Work)’, Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc (1997).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gershuny J: ‘Social Innovation and the Division of Labour’, OU Press, Oxford, UK (1983).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • B Anderson
  • C Gale
  • M L R Jones
  • A McWilliam

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations