Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Solving the Broadband Paradox

The most important and sometimes forgotten question we should be asking first is: Do consumers really want this stuff? In the minds of many industry analysts, consumer demand for broadband services is simply taken for granted. Many policymakers see an inevitable march toward broadband and want to put themselves at the head of the parade. They have adopted the Field of Dreams philosophy: "If you deploy it, they will subscribe."

But is this really the case? Are Americans clamoring for broadband? Are the benefits really there, and if so, do citizens understand them?

Most Americans still view broadband as the luxury good it really is instead of the life necessity that some policymakers paint it to be. Not every American needs, or even necessarily wants, a home computer or a connection to the Internet. This is especially the case for elderly households and households without children.

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