A lot of people have often made the case that if we deregulated the telecom and cable industries more (or not) the broadband penetration in the US is going to rise sharply. My position is that more than the muddling hand of FCC, what we need is a creative mind of a software developer to come up with an application that can boost bandwidth demand. EMail, Broadband Voice and illegal file sharing are the three true bandwidth hogs, and most people who want those have already become broadband customers.
Attracting the next 20 million or so is going to be harder, at least in the United States. A survey by Parks Associates shows that less than one-third of U.S. households with dial-up Internet service are interested in upgrading in the next 12 months, indicating a significant decline in potential broadband subscribers over the past year.
bq. According to Parks Associates’ Trends in U.S. Broadband Adoption, almost one-half of dial-up subscribers were inclined to upgrade to broadband at year-end 2002. But given the declining interest in broadband, 2004 may fall short of the 50% gain in broadband households experienced in 2003, unless service providers offer more enticing benefits such as dramatic price decreases or novel bundled service offerings.
bq. “Continued growth in residential broadband requires an ever-increasing number of dial-up households jumping ship to higher-priced, higher-bandwidth offerings,” said Michael Greeson, vice president of research and strategy for Parks Associates.