Is Broadband Growth Really Over?

Received an interesting call today. While I am choosing not to divulge too much yet, it looks like a fun opportunity to share my thoughts on a specific technology with mainstream America. Now that I have all of you scratching your heads with utter confusion, let’s move onto the next topic of the day. Seriously though, once I have all of the details, I will share them with you in a timely matter.

Moving on: What’s the deal with slowing broadband Internet penetration? Just when it looks as if we are going to seriously see sustained growth well into the next few years, I read an article like this one. And while the point from SBC Yahoo clearly says that by offering a price lower than dialup is the answer to getting people to finally cross over, I am still not so sure. In many respects, I feel like people resist change based on the expected hassles they perceive with making the switch. In many cases, you have users who are still working with AOL or MSN and don’t want to try a cheaper alternative like SBC Yahoo since it will mean having to change email addresses, learning a new interface (applies to AOL and MSN users), in addition to other more personal reasons that I might not be aware of.

Now let’s look at it from another point of view. Many users of these services feel strongly that they don’t need the speed offered by broadband services. I often hear about folks expressing security concerns or having faster Internet just means that they will break something on their PC, that much faster. No matter how you slice it though, it seems that ignorance goes hand in hand with legitimate reasons for some people choosing not to upgrade. One thing that has changed over the years in some areas that I find eliminates a very popular reason for sticking with dialup has finally been addressed – price. Assuming you are in an area where SBC Yahoo DSL can be setup for your PC, price is just not a legitimate objection any longer. And you know what? I am finding that DSL is beginning to venture out where cable has not shown it’s ugly head just yet. Deming, WA is a town located a matter of feet from the US/Canadian border. The town is by the truest definition, dieing. Yet, many residents of this town of about 200 people, are now able to have access to DSL with very little hassle.

So this brings us back full circle. Could it be that rather than seeing a slow down of broadband adoption, we are simply going to instead, see it being adopted in areas that we might not be expecting? Maybe the last frontier for broadband adoption will be in the boonies or in towns that may soon see grow again as local economies work to revamp themselves? Well, I guess anything is possible…