[PRNewswire] Americans value broadband more than ever with home broadband adoption rates up 15 percent in 2009 and consumers favoring Internet over cell phone and cable TV, according to new research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The 29-page study will be unveiled today in Washington, DC at the Internet Innovation Alliance's Symposium "Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus."
The Symposium will feature notables and pioneers in the technology space such as West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin and NBA All-Star Chris Bosh and will highlight two main issues: bringing broadband to unserved communities and making broadband affordable for all Americans. Featured speaker at the event John B. Horrigan, Associate Director of the Pew Internet Project, will discuss the findings of Pew's new report "Home Broadband Adoption 2009."
"We found that broadband is now in the 'must keep' category for Americans, even when economic times are tough," said Horrigan, principal author of the report. "Many consumers view their home broadband connection as a conduit for connecting to community and economic opportunities."
The new research shows 63 percent of adult Americans surveyed now have broadband Internet connections at home. The growth in broadband adoption indicates that the economic recession has had little effect on decisions about whether to buy or keep a home high-speed Internet connection. The survey found that people are twice as likely to say they have cut back or cancelled a cell phone plan or cable TV service than internet service.
9% of Internet users say that in the past 12 months they have cancelled or cut back online service.
22% of adults say they have cancelled or cut back cable TV service in the past 12 months.
22% of cell phone users report that in the past 12 months they have cancelled or cut back cell phone service.
Broadband users were also asked, for the first time in a Pew survey, how they view the importance of broadband to civic and community life. Some 55 percent of home broadband users said broadband was very important to at least one dimension of their lives and community, such as communicating with health care providers, government officials, sharing information about the community, or contributing to economic growth.
"The broadband stimulus package is intended to achieve targeted job creation," said Larry Irving, co-chairman of the IIA. "However, we need to look beyond the temporary effects of the stimulus and make sure that we are investing in projects that create sustainable infrastructure. Especially when invested in emerging technologies like smart grids and e-Health, stimulus dollars have an opportunity to make a significant, and more importantly a lasting, economic impact."
West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III, a notable pioneer in the broadband space, will deliver a keynote address at the Symposium and will be awarded IIA's Broadband Innovator of the Year for his successful efforts to advance broadband deployment and adoption in West Virginia.
"I thank all of the members of the Internet Innovation Alliance for hosting this important biannual Symposium," said Manchin. "Broadband is a critical part of our infrastructure. The Internet has become a necessity not just for doing business, but for living in the 21st century. In West Virginia, I've placed a priority on expanding this infrastructure that we must have to be able to compete in the global marketplace. Our goal in West Virginia is to have our state wired for high-speed Internet, from border to border, by the year 2010."
Tech savvy NBA All-Star and six year veteran of the Toronto Raptors Chris Bosh will also be speaking at the Symposium. Bosh is the first athlete in the world to launch his own iPhone application and his website, www.chris-bosh.com, which includes multiple social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, all of which, he notes, are dependent on broadband technology.
Congressional approval of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan (ARRP) allocated $7.2 billion for broadband development and charged the FCC with creating a national broadband plan. According to the IIA, an effective National Broadband Strategy will enable the government to partner with the private sector to extend broadband service to every corner of the country, while at the same time raising awareness of its benefits.
"Flexibility in a national broadband plan is key as we learn more from broadband mapping and from the return on initial stimulus investments," said IIA Co-Chairman Bruce Mehlman. "The best strategy will start by examining where we stand today and then identify policies to get us where we want to be, which ultimately is achieving our goal of 100 percent broadband adoption across the U.S."
Consumers Favor Internet Over Cell Phone and Cable TV According to New Study From Pew Research Center