Many Americans see little point to Web: survey

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:33pm EDT

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (Reuters) - A little under one-third of U.S. households have no Internet access and do not plan to get it, with most of the holdouts seeing little use for it in their lives, according to a survey released on Friday.

Park Associates, a Dallas-based technology market research firm, said 29 percent of U.S. households, or 31 million homes, do not have Internet access and do not intend to subscribe to an Internet service over the next 12 months.

The second annual National Technology Scan conducted by Park found the main reason potential customers say they do not subscribe to the Internet is because of the low value to their daily lives they perceive rather than concerns over cost.

Forty-four percent of these households say they are not interested in anything on the Internet, versus just 22 percent who say they cannot afford a computer or the cost of Internet service, the survey showed.

The answer "I'm not sure how to use the Internet" came from 17 percent of participants who do not subscribe. The response "I do all my e-commerce shopping and YouTube-watching at work" was cited by 14 percent of Internet-access refuseniks. Three percent said the Internet doesn't reach their homes.

The study found U.S. broadband adoption grew to 52 percent over 2006, up from 42 percent in 2005. Roughly half of new subscribers converted from slower-speed, dial-up Internet access while the other half of households had no prior access.

"The industry continues to chip away at the core of nonsubscribers, but has a ways to go," said John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates.

"Entertainment applications will be the key. If anything will pull in the holdouts, it's going to be applications that make the Internet more akin to pay TV," he predicted.

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