TMCnews Featured Article

June 18, 2009

Consumers Cutting Back on Communication and Video Services, Survey Finds

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

Broadband adoption appears to have been largely immune to the effects of the current economic recession, say researchers at the Pew (News - Alert) Internet & American Life Project. That said, consumers report they are cutting back or canceling communication and entertainment services. But broadband has shown better resilience.

In an April 2009 survey, more than twice as many respondents said they had cut back or cancelled a cell phone plan or cable TV service than said the same about their Internet service.

About nine percent of Internet users (seven percent of all adults) say that in the past 12 months they have cancelled or cut back online service.

Some 22 percent of adults say they have cancelled or cut back cable TV service in the past 12 months.

About 22 percent of cell phone users (19 percent of all adults) report that in the past 12 months they have cancelled or cut back cell phone service.

The latest survey also shows that U.S. home broadband adoption has reached 63 percent of adult Americans as of April 2009, up from 55 percent in May, 2008, say researchers at the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Perhaps the better news is that the greatest growth in broadband adoption in the past year has taken place among population subgroups which have below average usage rates.

Among them, broadband usage among adults ages 65 or older grew from 19 percent in May, 2008 to 30 percent in April, 2009.

Respondents living in households whose annual household income is $20,000 or less, saw broadband adoption grow from 25 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in 2009.

Respondents living in households whose annual incomes are between $20,000 and $30,000 annually experienced a growth in broadband penetration from 42 percent to 53 percent.

Overall, respondents reporting that they live in homes with annual household incomes below $30,000 experienced a 34 percent growth in home broadband adoption from 2008 to 2009, Pew says.

Among adults whose highest level of educational attainment is a high school degree, broadband adoption grew from 40 percent in 2008 to 52 percent in 2009. Among adults ages 50-64, broadband usage increased from 50 percent in 2008 to 61 percent in 2009. Adults living in rural America had home high-speed usage grow from 38 percent in 2008 to 46 percent in 2009.

Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard