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