Some 55 percent of Americans had broadband service at home in April this year, compared with 47 percent the year before and less than 35 percent in 2005.
Only 10 percent of Americans still use dial-up Internet service at home, according to the latest findings from the Pew Internet and American Life Project..
Broadband is still too expensive (or scarce) for many Americans. Of the 10% of U.S. households that still use dial-up access, more than a third say they use it because they can’t afford faster service. And another 14% still use dial-up because it’s the only option available to them.
Among other findings of the Pew study:
- 27 percent of Americans, mostly low-income elderly adults, say they do not use the Internet at all.
- 10 percent of Americans have dial-up Internet service, which is slower, down from about 30 percent four years ago.
- 34 percent of Internet users said they’ve gone online while away from home using a wireless connection on their laptop computer. Of those, 64 percent said they used a free service.
- 35 percent of dial-up users say that the price of broadband service would have to fall.
- 19 percent of dial-up users said nothing would convince them to get broadband.
The 2008 broadband subscriber numbers represent an overall growth rate of 17 percent, compared with 12 percent the year before.
Respondents told Pew they paid an average of $31.50 a month for DSL (down 50 cents from last year), while average cable Internet charges fell almost 12 percent to $37.50. Dial-up customers reported paying an average of $19.70 per month, 9 percent more than last year.
Roughly 70 percent of respondents younger than 50 hooked up, compared with half of those from 50 to 64 and less than 20 percent in the Social Security set.
Pew’s telephone study of 2,251 U.S. adults, including 1,553 Internet users, was conducted April 8 to May 11 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. The error margins for subgroups are higher — plus or minus 7 percentage points for the dial-up sample.
One-quarter of the planet is expected to be online by 2012, according to a report by Jupiter Research. The number of worldwide online users will increase 44% between 2007 and 2012, reaching 1.8 billion users, the report predicts. By 2012, one quarter of the world’s population will access the Internet on a regular basis.