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USC Study Finds Broadband to be Most Popular Type of Internet Connection
[January 11, 2006]

USC Study Finds Broadband to be Most Popular Type of Internet Connection

TMCnet Communications and Broadband Columnist
The University of South California Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future has published its Fifth Study of the Internet by the Digital Future Project. The study found that overall Internet use is continually increasing; email is the most popular online activity; and broadband has reached the highest level yet for online access.

The year 2005 showed the most Internet use to date with 78.6 percent of Americans going online with the average weekly usage rising to 13.3 hours. In 2000, 46.9 percent of users reported that they use home Internet access. This number increased to 66.2 percent in 2005, according to the study.

Once the main portal to the Internet, the telephone modem is no longer the most common type of Internet connection. Only 45.6 percent of users reported that they access the Internet via a telephone modem, down from 61.5 percent in the previous study. Users accessing the Internet via a Broadband connection are currently at 48.3 percent and continue to increase.
When examining Internet users and trends, the study found that Broadband used at home is much more common among very experienced users, compared to that of new users. The study also showed that when compared with modem users, Broadband users spend more online hours working from home, reading news, playing games, tracking checking accounts and credit cards as well as instant messaging.
The first report of the Digital Future Project was conducted in 2000 and focused on the creation of a base profile of behavior and attitudes about Internet use and non-use by studying who was online and who was not, media use and trust, consumer behavior, communication patterns and social effects. Through the five years that the study has been conducted, these same attributes were studied in addition to the psychological effects.
According to Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future, last year’s report emphasized that just as the emergence of the Internet transformed American culture, growth in Broadband use will inspire a change of its own. Cole stated that the spread of Broadband technology will create its own shifts in how the Internet is experienced at home and how home life will change as an indirect result. The evolving changes are already evident in year five of the study.
The Center for the Digital Future has tracked the same users and non-users over the course of the study to evaluate trends and changes. Beyond Broadband use, the study also found that users are more loyal to the Internet than to television or cell phones; that online campaigning is changing American politics; the Internet is playing an important role in increasing contact among family members; and military members are able to keep in touch with families at home.
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that Internet usage is increasing and that Broadband is the most popular choice of access. The capability that the Internet provided when it first emerged on the market really only gave us a taste of what the potential was. As users became more familiar with the possibilities, they wanted more and they wanted it faster. Hasn’t this been an evident trend in society over the past several years? As a result, we have received many benefits from the Internet, but we also have to be educated on how to maximize those benefits and industries especially have to be ready to respond. See Accenture Finds Internet Contributes to Loss of Customer Loyalty
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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC and has also written for To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

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